BIBLE DOCTRINE Post Augmentation 2018
Copyright © 2018 Carrick on Shannon church of Christ - Overture and Doctrinal
Welcome to the local church of Christ in Carrick on Shannon Ireland. Our website is designed with the sole intention of teaching men and women how to obey the gospel and to live faithful in Christ thereafter. Indeed, we have a vested interest to procure the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. After all, the foundation of the Christian faith is built on these - Ephesians 2:20. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
We make every effort to avoid any and all associations with religious organizations and those who teach after the doctrines of men. At the end of the day, it's what we do here whilst we abide in this earthly tabernacle that will determine the outcome in the thereafter -
1 Corinthians 3:13.
We also hope that our efforts will accomodate those who are already memebers of the Lord's church to migrate further in their understanding of the more difficult things that pertain to the word of God. This is what the Bible calls the meat of the word - 13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:2, cf. 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. Hebrews 5:12. Sadly, those who are genuinely seeking God are on the decline. Others, however, have hardened their hearts, and so much so, that they refuse to hear the truth. Yet Jesus said in - 12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Now in saying that, our hope is that this somewhat at length expository will help in introducing the following dissertation; which is composed of several studies on the fundamentals of Bible doctrine. 35. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Besides, teaching men the word of God is a matter of utmost importance, even to the saving of the soul. You see, very few nowadays possess a proper understanding of what the Bible teaches, let alone, the eternal value of their own soul. With so many churches emerging out of nowhere (without scriptural authority), and wannabe preachers all professing the name of Christ and claiming to teach the way of salvation, and what have you? No wonder there's so much confusion. All confusion does is generate more confusion, and that's why we have so many denominations all professing the name of Christ. The thing is, only one of them can be right. Now he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him - 1 John 2:4-6.
Now since the Bible only teaches one church, inasmuch as it teaches one faith, one baptism, one Christ, and one God - 1 John 2:4-6 [King James Bible] 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Ephesians 4:4-6; then where have all the other churches come from? The answer is simple. Wilful confusion!
Just by merely existing they contradict the scriptures on all fronts. Therefore I pray you, inasmuch as it is possible, to approach the following lessons with an open mind, and a willingness to learn of those things that can save your soul - 4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. James 1:21. Solomon well said, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." - 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Proverbs 12:15, cf. 15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. 18:13. 13. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Now it's in everyone's interest that we first procure with a general conspectus of those things that pertain to the religion of Jesus Christ, and indeed the disparity that exists between those who are Christians (obeyed the gospel) and those who call themselves Christians (religious/traditional). It's also noteworthy to mention that not all who profess to be Christians are actually Christian. Christianity is not a matter of blind religion and foolish traditions; but rather, a taught religion, and by the revelation that is contained within the record of the volume of the scripture.
Now in saying that, one of the more subtle and indeed wilful ignorances to beset mankind in more recent times is the near all out and comprehensive rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed it is the rejection of salvation itself. And no wonder, with all the media drivel and anti-Christian sentiment that abounds. In more recent times, however, we have to contend with the likes of the Islamic religion which is another, and all out, enemy of the cross of Christ. Should we be surprised when we see that the world loves its own -
Is it not another sign of the forsaking of the first principals of the oralces of God? Yes it is! You can thank Roman Catholicism and the protestant denominations for that. I'm sure you've read - John 15:19 (King James Bible): 19. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Galatians 6:7.
Moreover, when men speak as if they know God and yet they know not God; they speak of themselves and make themselves liars. They know not God because they do not according to the first principals of the oracles of God. Their faith is not of the faith of Christ, therefore, they have not God. In spite of that; the unlearned and ignorant have hearkened to such men as if they spake that which pertaineth to the oracles of God. Many a foot has trodden those paths of deception, and many there be that follow - Galatians 6:7 (King James Bible): 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Matthew 7:13-14.
Yet none seeketh after God as one that seeketh to know God - Matthew 7:13-14 [King James Bible]: 13. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Romans 3:11. Neither have they received the love of the truth, that they might be saved - 11. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 2 Thessalonians 2:10. They, even them; are receiving the due recompense of their error which is mete. Just look around you. Then men wonder why God is displeased? 2 Thessalonians 2:10 [King James Bible]: 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Religious and denominational Christendom do not represent the cross of Christ and never have. In fact, they only represent the antitype of Christianity.
What they call faith is not faith in God per se; but rather, faith in gods, even of their own making. We all know what the Bible says about that -
The only time their kind is mentioned in the Bible is to rebuke false teaching. You see, no church (assembly of people) outside the church of Christ is entitled (or authorized) to represent God. Not one of them account for even one saved soul because the Lord doesn't add souls to other churches - Isaiah 42:8 [King James Bible]: 8. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Romans 16:16 cf. Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Acts 2:47. Nor indeed am I surprised to hear of the widespread ignorance of the gospel that exists in our time. They either laugh it off as something outdated and archaic; or they try to dispute the authenticity of the scriptures. What they fail to acknowledge are those things that testify to the unseen - Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Hebrews 11:3. Yet they want to be called Christians and refuse to believe. It doesn't work like that. The modern ideal is to embrace all religions regardless of what they represent. Whilst some claim that God can be found in all religions; others attempt to alter the scriptures in such a fashion as to render them according to their own religious beliefs. Now that's all well and good until the judgement. Actually, judgement begins at the moment of death (when we deapart from this earthly habitat for the realm of the unseen). The day of judgement itself is the official handing down of judgement, hence death and hell delivering up the dead which were in them - 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Revelation 20:13. Then no amount of gospel, or anything for that matter will save them. They'll just end up where all those that went before them are. They are what the Bible calls "the lost." Lost into eternity and torment. Now the Bible is clear regarding one of the elements of the torments of hell, which is fire. Irrefutable unquenchable fire. Just like Sodom and Gomorrah which were made an example to those that should live ungodly thereafter - Revelation 20:13 [King James Bible]: 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 2 Peter 2:6. They were the homosexual cities of the plain which God destroyed. Thus condemning the sin of homosexuality in all its deviant forms - 6. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; Leviticus 18:22. 22. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Now another reason for the lack of take up on the gospel is the sheer number of divisive denominations that seem to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. With their foreign ideologies after the doctrines of men, and not after God. No wonder the unsuspecting and ignorant are caught in religious and ideological slavery, which in the end will spell their condemnation. If only they'd look to the Bible once in a while. In any case, just by merely existing, that is, denominations; well, they fly in the face of biblical authority and the only wise God -
Romans 16:27, cf. 27. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Jude 1:25. Moreover, God said that he's not the author of confusion - 25. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. 1 Corinthians 14:33. The God of the Bible is no respector of persons - 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Acts 10:34-35. If you want to be numbered with those who are being saved; then you do it God's way. After all, who do you think does the saving? 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Needless to say, that one's
fidelity to God is invariably demonstrated in keeping with the doctrine of scripture, and in particular; that of the New Testament. James, the brother of Jesus, said, "...be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves - James 1:22." That said, it also depends on what kind of doing is being done. Those that opt for the lukewarm with regards to the Christian faith, and there's a lot of that, well, that's indicative of false teaching - 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Revelation 3:16. There's no such thing as shortcut religion with God. The only shortcut you'll find in relgion is to hell. God never intended for man to do nothing. Ever since the garden, my friend; God has given man to do - 16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Genesis 2:15.
To do, implies, that there is doing to be done. Those who are familiar with the Bible know well that not only the believing rests with us; but also the doing of the believing. Mind you, belief is a work in itself because God said it is - 15. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. John 6:29. Moreover, God said, that without 29. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. faith (which is to believe), it is impossible to please him - Hebrews 11:6. What's more, if a man refuses to believe; then how can he know what to do; if he refuses to believe what to do? Sounds to me a lot like what Jesus said in - 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. John 10:26. The Bible teaches that a time will come when men will refuse sound doctrine - 26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, cf. 3. 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; 4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Thessalonians 2:10. I'm afraid that time has come. 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Now as pertaining to the oracles of God, well, like it's said, there's only one place you'll find them, and that's in the Bible. There's no other text given amongst men, save that of the volume of the record which was written by the holy men of God in the long ago -
1 Peter 1:21, cf. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Hebrews 1:1-2. Those texts are forever immured within the pages of what we call the Bible. The word Bible itself comes from Middle English, and means books. Moreover, the Bible is made up of sixty six (66) books. Thirty nine (39) in the Old Testament, and twenty seven (27) in the New. Mind you, the Bible is an exceptional book given the fact that God, and not man, is the author. There was a time, however, when God chose to use the earthen vessel of man to reveal his will to his beloved creation. Thereafter the onus rested with man to teach men the gospel of Jesus Christ, which, after all, is essential to understanding the will of God. We use thoughts, do we not, to communicate? Words are the expression of thoughts. Thoughts are conveyed through the words that make up the language we use to communicate. Therefore, before creation was created it was in the mind of God. What God has revealed about the creation and a certain part of the history of mankind are in his word. The word is the revelation of the thoughts of God. However, it's said, that men forget their way after the third generation, and I believe it. It seems that men forget their way in the absence of sound instruction. History reminds us that the fruits of ignorance belongs to the shambles. When morality dissipates, a nation has lost its way.
You see, gone are the days when children were allowed to be children. Nowadays they proclaim that's it's all right for boys to wear girly dresses as if that's normal. Well it's not normal. It's weird. However, let's not forget what the Bible has to say about wearing clothes of the opposite gender - 1. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Deuteronomy 22:5. Ireland is become a real test tube of antipathy with regards to morality. Whatever the next generation will produce remains to be seen. 5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
So why does ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ still prevail? Well just look around you. Very few want to hear anything that has to do with the gospel these days. Mind you, some even refer to the gospel as offensive. Now that's a hard saying, however, I understand it to some extent because of the untold damage that unauthorized churches and their false Christians have brought about. All clamouring and claiming to teach the way of salvation without the Bible ever having a look in. This is typical of the religious denominations we see today, not to mention, their lack of accountability when it comes to teaching the doctrines of men. Now since none of them can agree in terms of doctrine; they have cunningly devised the term "unity in diversity." That's like saying a white blackbird. No doubt a sign of the times. Tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. Such teachings denote the devilish doctrines of liberal hypothesis. Now it's one thing to have a desire to worship God, however, it's entirely another thing to worship God in a manner that is acceptable to him. You see, God has given specific instructions in how we are to worship. Failure to observe the exhortations of almighty God is detrimental to one's salvation. The thing is, most people just want to be entertained like those who enjoy revelling to excess of riot. They look to get something out of worship rather than to just worship. Worship is to reverence, venerate, give thanks, honour, praise, exalt and glorify. On the other hand, worship to those without has all the hallmarks of ignorant bliss. Now it remains to be seen whether this spiritual constipation on the part of religious Christianity will ever change. I don't think it will. In saying that, the Bible is utterly silent concerning the agent of change. The devilish and dividing leavens of false doctrine are fashioned in such a way as to lure both the weak an ignorant after the doctrines of men and not after God. Jesus well said, when he knew what was in man -
John 2:25. Mind you, so does the devil. 25. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Moreover, it seems that every man is for himself these days, and that's not a good sign of things to come. When it comes to faith, well, everyone has their own opinion. One will say this and the other will say that. All it amounts to is a confused pastiche of that form of godliness which the Bible spake, even that. But what is faith? Well the Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen -
Hebrews 11:1-6. If one claims to be a Christian he doesn't invent faith as he goes along, but rather, pursues faith in the realm of revealed knowledge and revelation. As I said before, we have that in the form of the Bible. Now the affimation is, that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost - 1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2. For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 2 Peter 1:21. Besides that, God has made it clear that without faith it is impossible to please him - 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Hebrews 11:6. It's also worth noting that what the Bible condemns is for our good. God would that all men were saved; but on his terms - 6. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 1 Timothy 2:4. 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
ARE CATHOLIC PRIESTS AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT THE GODHEAD?
Catholic priests and Roman Catholicism. What can I say? Well, one thing I can say, is that, they'll answer for the concerted effort they've propagated in hindering the gospel. If anything, they've led millions to hell. Anyone familiar with the Bible knows well that Roman Catholicism is not a Christian religion; even though they give the impression they are. Short memories prevail. Not so long ago the same Catholic church widely forbade reading the Bible. The main reason was because the Bible condemned their doctrines and traditions. Nothing has changed in that respect. They even forced their beliefs upon the weak and ignorant. In more recent times, however, the Catholic church was found guilty of harbouring homosexuals and peadophiles; knowing right well that the Bible condemns such things. They even forbid their priests to marry and instituted abstaining from meats -
1 Timothy 4:3. All such things fly in the face of biblical authority. In all honesty, is one so foolish to believe that such men procure to a godly end? Satan has more malefactors in the preaching business than we can possibly imagine. No doubt many of them use the Bible to teach their own refutable doctrines. Yet they conveniently overlook what the Bible teaches with regards to preaching. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, and without partiality - 3. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 1 Peter 4:11. Paul said in 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Acts 20:27, "I have not shunned to declare 27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. all the counsel of God." Meting out the word in part is not preaching as the oracles of God. Men that preach in part have something to hide. Men that preach in part only teach in part. That won't get you to heaven.
So what is a priest? Well, a priest, in effect, is a mediator who stands between God and man. Roman Catholic priests follow a sacerdotal system similar to that found in the Old Testament. Their system of beliefs are based upon a fallacious notion that the apostles "were endowed with the powers of Jesus Christ," and therefore, Catholic priests, as "successors" of the apostles, are similarly endowed with their power. The belief is closely connected with the delusion, wherein, performing the "Mass," the priests are sacrificing the body of Christ. Such traditions are completely at odds with scripture. The New Testament, however, teaches, that Jesus was offered once -
Hebrews 9:25-28. Mind you, Peter said that Christians are a royal priesthood, inasmuch, as they are a peculiar people; showing forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light - 25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. 1 Peter 2:9. 9. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
As for the office of the Roman priesthood per se, well, there is no office. They have no authority to occupy such a role, let alone, to emulate the sacrifice of Christ over and over. When Christians assemble on the first day of the week; they do so for a memorial to what their Lord accomplished at the cross. What's more, the Bible teaches that there's only one mediator between God and men -
1 Timothy 2:5-6. Paul's affirmation unequivocally countermands the claims of Roman Catholicism; that their priests are mediators' between God and men. It simply isin't true. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
ARE DENOMINATIONAL PASTORS AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT THE GODHEAD?
Things might well be a whole lot better if we get our facts in order first. More importantly, is that we get our house in order before the Lord God. Jesus said, in
John 8:32, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Since our Lord affirmed this sacred fact; then we must turn to the Bible, and nothing else, for all our answers concerning the religion of Jesus Christ - John 8:32 (King James Bible): 32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 17:17.
Anyone who calls himself a Christian must then adhere to the fact that the Bible is the final authority in all things to the church. Those who are members of the Lord's church know well how to handle such titles with respect to the scriptures. Without further ado; the use of the title of pastor is generally employed by those outside of the Lord's church. Such misuse of title signifies the presence of an unauthorized office. The King James Bible mentions the title of pastor in John 17:17 (King James Bible): 17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Ephesians 4:11. Now notice that there are five (5) titles mentioned in verse eleven (11). The first two (2); which are apostles and prophets (both title and office), are obsolete. Those roles served their purpose in bringing about the establishing of the church of Christ and the New Testament as we know it today. The remaining three (3) titles are essentially two (2) offices, namely that of oversight and evangelists. Evangelists proclaim the word as it pertains to the oracles of God. Evangelists are also teachers and preachers of the word. An evangelist and a gospel preacher are essentially the same thing. Pastors, on the other hand, assume the divinely authorized office of oversight (plural), such as, elders, bishops and shepards (selfsame thing). The office of oversight (elders), must be occupied by at least a minimum of two suitably qualified men, hence the appointing of elders (plural) in all the churches - Ephesians 4:11 (King James Bible): 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Acts 14:23, cf. 23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. Titus 1:5. There's no such thing as a pastor or an elder per se. The office must be established in the plural (more than one). The word pastor is more commonly referred to as elder in the New Testament, even though they are the selfsame thing. An elder is indicative of an older man; unlike what we see in the Mormon church and throughout denominational churches in general. In the King James Bible the use of the word pastor is an exception in translation, yet not wrong in it's own right; but none the less taken and used out of context amongst those without. 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
There's no such office as that of a "pastor" per se, in that, one man presides over a congregation, or more than one congregation at any time. It's all down to the misuse of the designation having morphed beyond sound judgement in terms of abiding within the authority of the scriptures, and has now become synonymous with false teaching and bad religion. At any rate, it would hardly likely be an appropriate designation even within the ranks of the Lord's church given it's extensive misuse - cf.
1 Thessalonians 5:22. The use of title of elder, and elders (same office); have proven themselves to be the more accepted terms due to being the preferred designation of the New Testament. In saying that, however, elders (who are obviously older men), are the ones who have the delegated (or God authorized) oversight of the local congregation (or church). Evangelists and preachers in similar fashion are subject to the authority of the local eldership or pastoral oversight. Moreover, God has made absolutely no provision for women to occupy those roles. In fact, women are to remain silent in church assembly - 22. Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Timothy 2:12, cf. 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Corinthians 14:34. 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
With all the drivel surrounding those who are called pastors in denominational churches today, well, this misconstrued perception demands that we look to the Bible to see exactly who is what. Churches that behave themselves in such a fashion are not of God because they do not the scriptures. The same applies in terms of obeying the gospel. As I said before, no one man has the authorized oversight of a local congregation within the Lord's church. Therefore, those who do it are not in the Lord's church. Now just so we reminds ourselves, that is, if one is not in the Lord's church; then he is not saved. The church is made up of the saved. The church is not a building; but made up of people. Actually, the church is made up of those that should be saved -
As for pastors, bishops, overseers, shepards, elders and so on; are the selfsame office, and widely demonstrated throughout the New Testament. The adjective of plural denotes more than one person. Therefore, ruling out the possibility of one man having the oversight at any time. Now in the absence of legitimate pastoral oversight (which is very possible); then the men of the congregation assume the role in principal, and until such a time as the role is occupied by (Bible) qualified men - Acts 2:47 (King James Bible): 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Titus 1:5-9. After all, God knows best. Titus 1:5-9 (King James Bible): 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6. If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
GOD, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
The modern definition of marriage is more of a caricature than a sacred covenant. I suppose what began in America has become a hornet's nest of vile euphoria for that which defiles the marriage bed. Marriage is no longer revered as sacred. Moreover, the gravity of divorce and remarriage is something the vast majority appear to ignore. Whether ignorance, or wilful ignorance is the cause; will carry little weight in terms of the judgement. Marriage is one of the few institutions that is held sacred in the sight of God. Why? because the Lord God created marriage -
Geneis 2:22-24. What's more, God instituted the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman that their coming together might be acceptable in his sight. That said, they Genesis 2:22-24 [King James Bible]: 22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh - Mark 10:8. Mark 10:8 [King James Bible}: 8. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
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ROMANS CHAPTER ONE
Now in keeping with the scriptures, we need to approach all that the Bible condemns, as sinful, and from a critical standpoint -
1 John 3:4. Satan doesn't compromise, so why should we? In fact, our website is designed in such a fashion as to 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. vilify all that is wrong, and why not? The Bible warns us about calling evil good - Isaiah 5:20. Seemingly there's a lot of good evil going about these days. The murder of innocent blood is called abortion. Abortion sounds less deliberate, doesn't it? Murder sounds, well, like murder, and rightly so. After all, it is murder. 20. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Sodomite is sanitized to homosexual, and sexual relations outside of the God ordained marriage (which is fornication and adultery) is watered down to infidelity. Then you have what they call assisted suicide. What next? I suppose better felt than told. When you remove the wrongness of something, well, it's no longer perceived as wrong. It's all down to what's being taught. Moral empathy dissipates, or in other words, Romans chapter one. We live in a world of so called experts who seem to know more than God, well, that's what they want you to believe. It's a crafty old world we live in, and no wonder, since Satan is the artful instigator. In saying that, Satan is the god of this world (within limitation of course) - 2 Corinthians 4:4. That said, we need to keep in mind the nature of man and his love for sin - 4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. John 3:19. We don't need to stretch our investigative skills too far to demonstrate that point, or do we? You see, the general synopsis, is that, wrong is not so bad. You've heard the old saying; that two wrongs don't make a right? What about one wrong? What does that make? Take for example, lying. God said not to lie (all-inclusive) - 19. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Revelation 21:8. The world says white lie, which detracts from the all-inclusive. God said, hands that shed innocent blood are an 8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. abomination to him, such as, abortion - Proverbs 6:16-17. The woman saith, it's my body to do with as I please. In other words, both the motive and act are antithetical to the commandment of almighty God. God determined one condition for divorce - 16. These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, Matthew 19:3-9. The world says, let us mock the institution of marriage, and thereby, mock God - 3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Galatians 6:7. God said, man shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind (homosexuality): it is 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. abomination - Leviticus 18:22. The world savoureth in pride. 22. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
THE ABSOLUTE SHAMEFULNESS OF FEMINISM
I want to stress how absolutely shameful it is to see any woman, let alone, so many women; banding together in trying to equal themselves with men. The image alone is an ugly manifestation of the heart of man. Moreover, it's unbecoming to see a woman employ such a tactical demonstration of disobedience. Mind you, some of the antics they get up to in an attempt to give voice to their cause are unscrupulous to say the least, and a dubious precursor of the baser sort.
Feminism is not the God ordained role for women, nor indeed will it ever succeed to the extent that God's law regarding the matter of man being the head of the woman will ever be overturned. Are they ignorant of the fact that man was first formed, and then the woman -
1 Timothy 2:13?
Women have their God given roles in life, and it doesn't include trying to be like men. It seems that the laws of nature have little impact on those who advocate to that end. Feminism has no limit with regards to what is shameful. Shame on any man who supports the antitype of patriarchalism. That said, feminism does not speak for all women; but only the unruly and those found wanton.
Indeed, feminism should be compassed about by the strong man of due process. Now it's fair to say there exists an unwavering disparity between a feminist woman and a godly woman. A godly woman is to be desired, whereas, a feminist is superfluous to the extent of naughtiness. Godly women know their place before almighty God, whereas, the ungodly and ignorant will excess to riot
- 1 Timothy 2:13 [King James Bible]: 13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. Genesis 3:16, cf. 16. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 1 Corinthians 14:34, 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 1 Timothy 2:12-15. However, and more importantly; is the fact, that it proves the flagrant disrespect that exists against almighty God. 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
What's more, that which is claimed to be proper in terms of acceptable, is for the most part grossly improper. To that end, that which is regarded as modest leaves no room for immodest. Clothes are a thing of the past for some. Long gone are the days when women wore modesty as an extention of their womanhood. Then came along the Potiphars wifes and the Jezebels like they are somewhat. Shouting their mouths off like they have somewhat to say. Withal, they even want to legalise breast feeding in public. I'd dare say, even the perverts would welcome such a move, and there's plenty of them. What next? Can shame be brought any lower? Modesty, well that's one of those rare things we encounter from time to time, inasmuch, as it is to find a virtuous woman. Indeed one would be hard pressed given the current decorum on modesty. No doubt a sign of the times. The fact is that society today is morally bankrupt.
Notwithstanding, the aged women are to teach the younger women to love their husbands, to be chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed -
Titus 2:3-5. 3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
THE ABSOLUTE EVILNESS OF ABORTION
We hear a lot about abortion these days, not to mention, the repealing of the eight amendment of the Irish constitution, which, after all, was implemented to protect the rights of the unborn child. So much for that. The eight amendment was introduced in 1983. Same old story. One step forward and two steps back. Now most of the arguments that are put forward in an attempt to defend the right to abortion tend to be the one's that are less likely to happen. More often than not, abortion is the result of the so called, "unplanned pregnancy." You see, morality is at an all time low in Ireland, and I'd say, if anything, we haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg. We have a homosexual in top office who didn't get my vote, and a raft of vulturous politicians who'd sell their mother's shaddow if they could. Therein are the setters of standards, or so they think. Only a nation of fools would allow such a deviation from moral etiquette. Then we have all that media drivel to put up with; branding themselves as some kind of moral compass for human rights and save the planet and what have you. What an ungodly sort we have to contend with. God help us all. All said and done, there's no denying the fact that abortion is the murder of the unborn and innocent, and more often than not; the result of having sexual relations outside of the God ordained marriage. Like all things in life there is a price to pay. Such a pity the innocent one's are the one's who are paying for it. If modesty prevailed and chaste was an extension of womanhood; then less of the innocent would be cast to the slaughter. The reality is that our world is hostile towards empathy, mercy, and godly living. Every man is for himself!
Fornication and abortion are interdependent in the sense that the one cannot happen without the other. Now we all know that abortion is the murder of an unborn child. It seems that the jury is out on the innocent when it comes to fornication and adultery. Then people wonder why the Bible speaks of the wrath of God that is coming. You know what makes it even worse is the fact that most abortions are the result of sexual relations outside of the God ordained marriage, bar the odd exception. They call those unlawful sexual acts by the terms "in a relationship, dating, friends with benefits, hooking up, or with a partner." So we might as well ask what the fuss is all about? Surely two concenting adults are entitled to engage in sexual intercourse behind closed doors? They are, however, one is authorized by God, and the other is not. When men and women come together outside of the God ordained marriage; they procure to unlawful sexual relations, and thereby, transgress the law of God.
That's not to mention the children they have out of wedlock, and those that are systematically aborted. No fault to the child. I suppose in one sense they're doing what they've been taught to do. Moreover, man is made after the image of God -
Genesis 1:27. Man is also subject to the edict of moral agency. What that means, is that, God has fashioned man to understand the difference between right and wrong. God has determined what is right and wrong. To make matters worse, some moral degenerates have tried to water down abortion to a miscarriage. Well that's not true. Actually it's a lie. Unfortunately for some, a miscarriage is something that occurs naturally at the start of, or during a pregnancy. However, to expedite a miscarriage is no different than abortion because it's done on purpose with intent. The definition of abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy. Therefore, abortion is deliberate. Whatever way you want to look at it, the fact still remains, that abortion is a conscious decision to terminate a living soul. In other words, its a fancy name for murder. I'm sorry if it sounds crude and unpleasant; but that's what it is. The two go hand in hand. The Bible calls them fornication and murder. Men and women who engage in sexual relations outside of marriage should think about the consequences. Our volition to choose comes with the associated consequences. No choice in life whether good or bad is without consequence. If you choose to engage in sexual relations outside of marriage; then expect any number of consequences. What's more, the Bible says the two flesh shall become one - 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 1 Corinthians 6:16. Sinning against one's own body goes further than just having a moment of pleasure outside of 16. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. wedlock. The consequences associated with violating the commandments of God are both spiritual and physical. Marriage is for a reason. Paul said, if they (male and female) cannot contain (their sexual desires), well, let them marry - 1 Corinthians 7:9. I think that nails it on the head, don't you? 9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
IS SAME SEX MARRIAGE FOR REAL?
Well, according to some it is. They believe that by marrying each other it constitutes some kind of legality before God; but they are wholly deceived. God abhors the act of homosexuality, and so should those who profess the good name of Christ. After all, God is the setter of right and wrong.
Homosexuality in all it's forms is purely anti-procreative and unnatural. The mention of "sodomite" and "homosexuality" in any of it's forms has always been synonymous with wrong doing. Sodomy, whether between a male and a female, or two of the same sex is condemned in the Bible. The omega-term of "same sex" was coined by Karl-Maria Kertbeny in 1869, however, the act itself has been around since Genesis. Homo is a Latin word that means man. When used as a prefix, as in "homosexual," it comes from the Greek word homos, which means, the same. Same or not; men having sex with men and women having sex with women is wrong. If religion never had a say in the matter; there is that overpowering sense of offense about it. Nature itself is a testimony to the wrongness of homosexuality. Life would not exist except for the opposite sex. Like genetically modified (GM) crops, it's just not natural. If it is as natural as some claim; then why is a woman used to surrogate? That's why God made them male and female. God said to Adam and Eve (man and woman), to be fruitful and multiply -
Genesis 1:28. Notice, however, that God said nothing beyond male and female. Why? because it was never God's intention for anything same sex. Nor indeed am I convinced that this so called "gay gene" exists. The Bible, however, does have something to say along those lines. Paul said, that men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet - 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Romans 1:27. First of all, the Bible states that homosexuality is a choice, and a bad one at that. Secondly, that those who do such things 27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. would receive in themselves the due recompense of their error. Did you know that HIV and AIDS first appeared within the homosexual community around 1981 before it became epidemic and spread to hetrosexuals? Although the first verified case of HIV was from a blood sample taken from a man in 1959 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the emphasis here; is how it spread so rapidly through the homosexual community before it spread to anyone else. More than likely it spread beyond homosexuality through bisexualism. Bisexualism is peformed by those who are sexually attracted to both sexes. Bisexualism is just another perverted form of sodomy. The Bible said that they would receive in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. In other words, something bad. All sexual acts outside of the God ordained marriage are condemned in the Bible. The only one that is condemned within the God ordained marriage (male and female) is sodomy. Homosexuality in and of itself has all the hallmarks of lust, not love.
That brings us to the coining of such terms as "same sex." It doesn't even sound natural because it's not natural. All it amounts to is an effort to side step God. Dressing sin with interchangeable conceptualizations, such as, two daddies and two mammies, well, it doesn't change the fact that it's still wrong. The Bible calls it "
abomination." You see, the whole idea of trying to persuade mankind that this kind of lifestyle is right and proper is merely a dressing up of the sins of old - Ecclesiastes 1:9. Such masquerading of what God determined as abominable only flies in the face of nature, not to mention, God. If it was God's intention to allow for same sex parenting wouldn't he have made that clear? Well he did make something clear when he destroyed the cities of the plain - 9. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Genesis 19:29. Moreover, the record also declares that the woman was made for the man - 29. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt. Genesis 2:22-24. The thing is, there's no further deliberation in terms of 22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. espousement; save that of condemnation - Leviticus 18:22, cf. 22. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 2 Peter 2:6. You see, wrong will always be wrong, and what is right will speak for itself - 6. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; Genesis 4:7. It's wrong because God said it's wrong, and that settles it for me. 7. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
The sin of mankind lying with mankind as with womankind is abomination. Why? because God said it is abomination. Teaching others to do the same things is an extention of that abomination. The Bible is clear that those who do such things shall suffer the vengeance of eternal fire -
Jude 1:7. Thank God for those who do heed the warning. Are you willing to take that chance? 7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
No doubt a miliatant element is behind the so called "gay rights" movement, inasmuch, as there is behind that shameful feminist campaign that seems to be spreading like the smell of rot. No wonder, since they have the unfair advantage of an ungodly and biassed media that procures to the same end. In saying that, the media procures to any end that will get them a story. Withal, and that said, God will raise his own; as he has always done, even throughout the dispensations of the history of men. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal -
Romans 11:2-4. 2. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, 3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
WHAT ABOUT SO CALLED GENDER EQUALITY?
We're seeing a lot of that these days, and especially so on the telly. At first glace it might appear somewhat innocent, however, upon closer examination; the true nature of this movement no longer appears as innocent as it did initially. When we take into account the abusive nature of this so called liberating movement; we soon learn of some of its underlying tactics, such as, promoting the right to abortion, outmoding of gender specific roles, namely; those that have been historically occupied by men, such as, leadership and business, not to mention, the ongoing attempts to oust man as the God ordained head of the family, and indeed the woman -
1 Corinthians 11:3. Without a doubt, there is a concerted effort on the part of women to change these things. However, I do believe it will come to nought like everything else that stood in the way of almighty God. At the end of the day, it's not what we think is right; but rather, what God said is right. 3. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
End of Article | Dissertation
Romans Chapter One
THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST TEACH? Generic Post Augmentation 2018
Now let's draw our attention to the biblical terms "church" and "churches of Christ." Allow me to simply explain how the Bible uses the term church, and therefore, how we are to use it. When it comes to answering this, we need to start with a generic first, and then a Bible specific. For example, in Mattew 7:21, we read the words of Christ, wherein, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (which is the church - 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. 1 Corinthians 15:24, cf. 24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. Matthew 3:2, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Luke 17:21); but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." That said, the primary concern in conveying the correct meaning of the terminology, is that, most people are so accustomed to denominationalism (which is the practice of teaching contrary to one another and the Bible), that when they hear the phraseology "church of Christ," they think of it as just another denomination. Therefore, for us to gain a better understanding of what the scriptures teach, we must look to what the Bible says, rather than what men think. Paul said that Christ is the head of the church and the saviour of the body - 21.Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Ephesians 5:23. Now notice the noun "body" in verse 23. The definition of body refers to the structure of something, such as, the composition of a man (his physical body), or a car (a material body). In other words, a body has many parts that function as one. Allow me to illustrate. If someone steps on your toe, well, the rest of your body will feel it. The church also has many parts, for example, is made up of both men and women with gender specific roles - 23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 1 Timothy 2:12, cf. 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Corinthians 14:34, 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. Titus 2:3-5, one doctrine (or teaching) - 3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 1 Timothy 6:3-5, cf. 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 1 Timothy 4:16, 16. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 2 John 10-11, and ultimately, with one mind and one mouth are to glorify God - 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Romans 15:6. In New Testament terminology, the body usually refers to the church, bar the odd exception. As Paul said, Christ is the saviour of the body. The terms "church and body" are interchangeable, which means, they are essentially the same thing - 6. That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:24. Both terms refer to a number of people, and might I add, from all walks of life. It makes no difference to God what colour your skin is, for God is no respector of persons (does not show favouritism) - 24. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Acts 10:34. More importantly, the church are a sanctified people - 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: Hebrews 2:11-12, and numbered with those that have obeyed the gospel call to repentance and water baptism - 11. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Acts 2:38. Now to sanctify something is to set it apart or declare it as holy. Mind you, the Lord is the only one who does the adding to that number, so there's no way around it only to do what the Lord has said to do. After all, it's the Lord's word that's going to judge us in the last day - 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. John 12:48. 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
In fact, it's impossible for any man to be saved outside the church of Christ. The church of Christ (biblical designation), is where the Lord adds those that should be saved -
Romans 16:16, 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Acts 2:47. Now that's if you want to believe what the Bible has to say. Your only other option is don't believe. You know what the Bible has to say about that, don't you? In saying that, the preposition "of" expresses the relationship between the part and the whole, such as, the church is to Christ. Without Christ there would be no church, let alone, a church of Christ. There are many churches in the world that claim to be Chrisitan without authority, such as, the Baptist church established by John Smyth, and the Methodist church by John Wesley. Then you have Jesus Christ, who died for his church, hence, the church which is of Christ. It's as simple as that. Many a time I've crossed paths with the same religious disputants who try to argue that one can be saved in any church as long as they are faithful. Well it's not being very faithful when your stuck in someone else's church, is it? What's faith got to do with that? It sounds to me like their only playing church, and have no sense of the spiritual danger their in - 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Ephesians 4:4-6. 4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The Bible refers to the church, as the church or churches of Christ (same thing) -
Romans 16:16. You see, the command is to go into all the world - 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Mark 16:15, therefore, the church is spread out. Now that's not saying that every church that calls itself a church of Christ is a church of Christ. Indeed it's well known that several Pentecostal churches refer to themselves as churches of Christ, or churches of God. All it serves is to cause more confusion, and if anything, hinders the gospel. You see, the whole concept of denominations is divisive, and nothing more than a means of promoting other systems of belief, and indeed the foolishness of personal beliefs. The inspired text mentions no such thing as a church derived from the minds of men, nor indeed, the choosing of men. On the contrary, the New Testament church had its origins from the mind of God - 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Ephesians 1:4-6. Let's draw our attention to the terms "in him, predestinated, and in the beloved" mentioned in verses 4-6. It's important for us to understand those terms. In him, refers to, in Christ. So how do we get in Christ? Well, the same way we get in the beloved, which is, to obey the gospel of the beloved Son of God - 4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Matthew 3:17. That brings us to the word predestinate. The past participle predestinate means, to foreordain, predetermine, or preelect something. Past participles show something that started in the past, and continue until now. In God's case, predestination was determined upon foreknowledge. Now that in no way suggests that God is a respector of persons - 17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Acts 10:34; but rather the contrary. God has determined that all who believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ to predestination, inasmuch, as God would to have all men saved - 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 1 Timothy 2:4. This is proven when men obey the gospel. The gospel is the determining factor. It's how men handle the gospel that will determine the outcome. Yet the reality is that only few will be saved. Now why is that? Well the obvious answer is that very few will even listen to the gospel, let alone, obey it. In fact, the foolish things of this world are more important to some, than to hear the gospel which is able to save their soul. Mind you, some don't even believe they have a soul. They will one day though. Now I often wondered why men refuse the gospel. The only answer I could find was that evil is always present - 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. Romans 7:21. Evil is synonymous with sin, inasmuch, as sin is synonymous with evil. Jesus said, "It's what comes out of a man that defiles him." - 21. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. Mark 7:15. In other words, the thoughts and intents of the heart - 15. There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. Hebrews 4:12.
You know, God is going to hold each and every one of us to account for our sin - 12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 2 Corinthians 5:10. There's no way to escape the consequences of our sin except we repent - 10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Luke 13:3, cf. 3. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Hebrews 2:3. All sin is against God, because God is the first to witness our sin - 3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 4:13. Paul said, "All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light." - 13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Ephesians 5:13. You see, when sin is brought to light, the majority would rather ignore any kind of admonishing than to acknowledge wrong doing. Such a characteristic is common to mankind. Just because the majority have a tendency to deviate from responsibility doesn't make it right. We read in 13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Exodus 23:2, not to follow the multitude to do evil. Very few man up to wrongdoing nowadays. That speaks for itself.
Paul said, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby - 2. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Hebrews 12:11. In fact, every man is right in his own eyes according to the proverb - 11. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Proverbs 21:2. Indeed the Holy Spirit spake by the mouth of Paul, in that, blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin - 2. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts. Romans 4:8. When men obey the gospel (as they ought), and their trespass has been forgiven; then the Lord will add them to the number of the saved (who are the sanctified), which is the church. They are the same that hear the word of God, and keep it - 8. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Luke 11:28. My friend, there's no two ways about it. 28. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Now the Bible has a lot to say with regards to what the church is, and who the church are. Moreover, there's no denying the fact that the church of Christ is of Christ, hence the preposition of, or in other words, from Christ. Yet the God haters and religionists would have us to believe something else, that is, if we didn't have God's word to prove otherwise -
1 Thessalonians 5:21. When men teach that God can be found in nature, any religion, or any church; then you know they teach of themselves and not of God. You know, God commanded Moses to write in a book for a record - 21. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Exodus 17:14, inasmuch as, Paul's writing to the church at Rome is also for a record, and our learning - 14. And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. Romans 15:4. A record is something that is set down in writing or some other permanent form for later reference. A record is a proof of something said. This is how the record of the system of salvation is preserved through the generations. We have the record of the Bible which contains the things that pertain unto God, for us to touch on. It's such a pity that the vast majority who claim to be Christian fail to acknowledge this fundamental truth. Moreover, it's now a matter of proving what is acceptable unto the Lord - 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Ephesians 5:10. Now as touching what Paul said earlier; we read in 10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Ephesians 4:4, that there is only one body. That's the same as saying there's only one church. You know, things which equal the same thing also equal one another. Church or body, either way, are the same thing. Denominations don't even come close. The very existence of denominations suggests that Christ has more than one body. Such a notion contradicts scripture in every way. The church of Christ and denominations have always been mutually exclusive, in that, they are not the same thing. In fact, they are polar opposite in everything that pertains to the Godhead. Moreover, the so called Christian church and religious Christendom in general, are so far removed from what the Bible teaches; that they serve another purpose, and of a measure impossible to satiate, wherein, they lead the multitudes on their merry way to hell - 4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; Matthew 15:14. You see, from Roman Catholicism and her sectarian progenies, with the likes of Protestantism, the Baptist church and her own begats, Methodism and the Pentecostal churches; are all collectively in opposition to the will of God with their edicts and cleverely devised religious strategems. Yet not one of them can account for even one saved soul. Why? Because none of them are of God. They all serve their own daddy, the Devil, and not the God of heaven. Nor do they honour the begotten of God who is the Son of God. My friend, the math is not difficult. Just open the Bible and see it for yourself. It's also interesting to note, that if the Bible didn't exist; neither would Islam, nor any of the multitudes of denominations we have today. I guess that's a subject matter for another lesson. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof - 14. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 6:34. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
No doubt some will be offended with the outright condemnation of all churches except for the church of Christ. However, the same should bear in mind as to who does the saving. They also need to keep in mind what the Bible teaches with regards to the church, the role of the church, and how men are added to the church. Any authority that's been given to man is delegated authority, and subject to within the limitations of scripture. Anything beyond that is unauthorized, such as we observe within the ranks of the so called "International and Boston churches of Christ." Man has no authority of himself in the Lord's church. All churches outside of the church of Christ are the result of rebellion, and not by the authority of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Bible teaches it no other way.
WHAT IS AN EVANGELIST?
So what is an evangelist? Well, an evangelist is a gospel preacher, and/or a public teacher of the scriptures. An evangelist is a God appointed office in the masculine, that is, to be occupied by men only. Mind you, not all men, and that speaks for itself -
Ephesians 4:11-12. I've no doubt the finger of misogyny will brandish a boisterous venting of disapproval, in that, I speak as the oracles of God in matters that pertain to God - 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 1 Peter 4:11. But what of that? Inadvertent offence is unavoidable when teaching the truth - 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. James 3:2, 2. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. John 17:17. You see, the fact is, not all women are willing to comply with "...thus saith the Lord." I always thought that God had the final say in matters that pertain to salvation and the church? 17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
An evangelist is someone who imparts a particular knowledge, and in my case, that of the Bible. The subject of women preaching is verboten because thus saith the Lord -
1 Corinthians 14:34, 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 1 Timothy 2:12. I've heard several preachers claim that Paul's words were only cultural; but I disagree, and for very good reason. Remember what Paul said in - 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. Galatians 1:12? "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." What Paul said came from heaven. The revelation of Jesus Christ came from God - 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. John 7:16. The Bible teaches that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost - 16. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 2 Peter 1:21. There's nothing in the Bible that God hasn't put in the Bible. To claim otherwise is to challenge God's providential oversight, not to mention, his authority. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
DO WOMEN HAVE GOD'S PERMISSION TO PREACH?
Well not in the Lord's church according the Bible. Women are to keep silence -
1 Timothy 2:12. It's what the Bible teaches, so who am I to argue? Indeed, no man has authority to change that. Christians (in the narrow-sense) are under the law of Christ. The law of Christ demands our obedience. A lukewarm (or double standard) church does not bode well with God - 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. Revelation 3:16. Any God fearing woman will know what the Bible teaches concerning her role as a Christian, and a woman. As a matter of fact, very few look to the Bible for any kind of direction, let alone, authority in religion. 16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Work in progress....
HOW MANY GOSPELS?
The amount of misinformation over how many gospels there are only proves the amount of ignorance that exists amongst those who profess to be Christian. What's more, the amount of men who criticize the King James Bible is unnaturally profuse to say the least. I recently heard a preacher remark on the writers of the King James Bible as being uninspired because of what he determined as incorrect regarding the title headings on each of the gospel accounts. He insinuated that the King James translators should not have titled the gospels in the manner they did because it promoted the idea of more than one gospel. However, my King James reads, "the gospel according to..." This is absolutely correct. Each of those men who penned the gospel accounts did so according to how they were inspired to do so.
Work in progress....
IS THE RELIGION OF CHRIST AN IDEOLOGY?
Well, an ideology is something that is taught and believed, such as morals, doctrine, faith, and beliefs. In other words, a set of beliefs. An ideology is usually something that men want to believe, rather than, what they need to believe. Truth, and a form of truth, are two different things. Now the Bible is clear, in that, there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God -
When critics refer to an "ideology" they usually do so in a deprecate way, and with a negative connotation to boot. For example, in 1978, the ideology of Jim Jones and the "People's Temple" resulted in the mass suicide of 918 souls. Ideology means, "science of ideas." The English word comes from the French idéologie, which was coined by the French philosopher Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836). In saying that, religious Christendom (or denominations) were set about on the premise of religious ideology rather than truth. The Bible says, the truth shall make us free - 11. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. John 8:32. Worse still, personal beliefs can predicate ideologies with devastating effects. The thief comes to steal, not to sow - 32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 10:10.
On the other hand, collaborative ideologies, such as what we observe in the church of scientology, procure their beliefs through systematic and overpowering means. Roman Catholicism predicated their own respective ideology along the same lines. Mind you, the Bible and the ideologies of men are antagonistic toward each other, because the one is of man - 10. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 1 Corinthians 3:19, and the other is of God - 19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. John 7:16. 16. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
As for the critics and the nay sayers, well, their going to babble on regardless of who says what. Yet there's a lot of what to be said. You see, any religion that claims to be Christian and contradicts the Bible is not of God. For as the Spirit spake in times past, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." -
Romans 3:4. Moreover, the church has no say in matters that pertain to the Godhead. However, from time to time there are those who attempt to overthrow the scriptures for any reason that might give them an opportunity. They attempt to diagnosticate the doctrine of Jesus Christ as an ideology, such as, comparing things to the limitations of sinful man. However, they forget one thing, that the teaching came from heaven and not from man - 4. God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. John 6:38, cf. 38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. John 7:16, and 16. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. John 3:13. The doctrine of scripture had it's origins in the counsels of heaven. Isaiah well said concerning God - 13. And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. Isaiah 55:9, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." The New Testament is not an ideology, but a plea for righteousness sake. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God - 9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Since ideology is classified as "the science of ideas," well, you've got to ask, whose ideas is the science thereof? Science has it's limitations within the physical and observable. The spiritual goes way beyond what science is capable of understanding. For instance, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." - 9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Hebrews 11:3. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Work in progress....
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF THE GODHEAD
As touching the first person of the Godhead, God the Father (absolute, all knowing, all powerful, almighty, Creator), whose name alone is Jehovah -
Psalm 83:18 (masculine gender). The second person of the Godhead, God the Son, Jesus - 18. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth. Matthew 1:21 (Saviour, Christ, Shepherd, Lord), and without (him) was not any thing made that was made - 21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. John 1:3 (masculine gender). The third person of the Godhead, emphasis (He) the Spirit of truth - 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 16:13, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Spirit of God - 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Genesis 1:2. However, there are certain individuals who claim that the Holy Spirit is not a person, let alone, the third person of the Godhead, but rather, some kind of force or power to be reckoned with. The problem with that is when we read - 2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Acts 20:28, where the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers. If the Holy Spirit is a non-person, or innominate; then who appointed the overseers in verse 28? John spake concerning the Spirit, in that, (he) shall not speak of (himself) - again 28. 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. John 16:13. The pronouns he, himself, and him, are all (masculine gender), and indeed pertinent to our understanding of the masculinity of the Godhead. Men need to understand the concept of the Godhead, in that, it's characterized by three individual persons (all masculine gender) and all possessing the same, or one nature of the Godhead. It's also worth noting, that none of the Godhead are created beings. Paul spake concerning Christ in this manner - 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Hebrews 7:3, cf. 3. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Daniel 7:22. We also read of the three who bear record in heaven, the Father (God - 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 1 Corinthians 8:6, 6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 1 Timothy 2:5), the Word (Jesus Christ) - 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; John 1:14, 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1, and the Holy Ghost (third person of the Godhead) - 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Acts 5:3-4. These three are one, as in, (the Godhead) - 3. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 1 John 5:7. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
When Jesus Christ (the second person of the Godhead) pitched his tent among men, as in, dwelt amongst us -
John 1:14, it was said, that in him dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily - 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Colossians 2:9. Now given that the Godhead share the same nature; then the man Christ Jesus was a representation of a part for the whole, and a whole for the part, or in other words, a synecdoche, so to speak - 9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 1 Timothy 2:5, cf. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; John 14:9, 9. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Philippians 2:6. The word "synecdoche," or figure of speeck; is a Late Middle English word, having it's origins via Latin from Greek, just so you know. Such figure of speech helps us to better understand the composition of the Godhead. I've heard ignorant men laugh at the notion of the three god's of the Christian faith, as they interpret it; but this is not the case. Such a notion fails to acknowledge the nature of the Godhead, whilst at the same time, is minded only of the three persons of the Godhead, rather than the Godhead as a whole. Such is to foster assumptions, rather than, procuring a proper understanding - 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Hosea 4:6. In other words, plain old ignorance. 6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Men often choose to believe a lie because it may well appeal to what they want to believe. Mind you, a lie repeated often enough can be accepted as truth. Oddly enough, and for the most part, those who claim to be Christian fall well short in their uncerstanding of God, and the Godhead. The imbalance that exists in understanding the nature of the Godhead has a lot to do with a lack of proper teaching, hence, a shortage of God fearing men -
Proverbs 1:7, 7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 9:10. Now whether men fear God or not won't change anything in terms of God having the final say; but it does have a lot to do with the sort of teaching that's impacting the brotherhood. 10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Work in progress....
UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
What does the Bible tell us about the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit operate today as he did in the first century? Are miraculous signs and wonders still performed in the church today? How about revelation? Are men still in receipt of inspired knowledge from God? What is the gift of the Holy Spirit? What is meant by baptism in the Spirit? Now having said all that, where does the Bible belong in the grander scheme of things? You know, Solomon said, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."
Proverbs 4:7. How is it only a moiety is represented concerning the gifts of the Spirit by those who advocate the necessity of such things? Surely we're to declare all the counsel of God, that is, if we say we represent God? Paul did - 7. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Acts 20:27. So why don't those who claim that the gifts of the Spirit are still evident, do the same? As I said before, wilful (or deliberate) ignorance has a lot to answer for. You can't preach one part and ignore the other. That does not represent the truth as a whole. Actually, such is to detract from what is written, and therefore, transgress the law. In other words, to sin. 27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
As I mentioned before, the Godhead is made up of three individual persons. That's what the Bible teaches. God the Father is the first person of the Godhead, whose name alone is Jehovah -
Psalm 83:18. The second person of the Godhead is Jesus - 18. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth. Matthew 1:21, who is the Christ - 21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 16:16, and the Son of God (the first person) - 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, and the Son of the living God. Mark 1:1, cf. 1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; Philippians 2:6-7, 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: John 7:16. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, also known as the Spirit of God - 16. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. Romans 8:14
He has a seperate identifiable personality, so therefore, an individual person; whilst at the same time possessing the one nature of the Godhead. Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. John 16:13. Jesus spake of the Holy Spirit as a "he." The personal pronoun, he, is mentioned six times in verse thirteen, and evey time it refers to an intelligent individual, and in the masculine gender. This clearly shows us that the Holy Spirit is a person, and in the masculine gender. In fact, God is masculine gender. Now in case some of us get ahead of ourselves, we need to reflect on the fact, that God is not a man. God is a Spirit - 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 4:24. Man is a twofold creation, in that, he is made of both body and spirit. Man was created in the image of God, male and female, created he them - 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Genesis 1:27, cf. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 5:1-2. Needless to say why man was created male and female, hence, mankind. That should suffice in putting an end to any stereotypical prejudice. 1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Now one of the main roles of the Holy Spirit in the early church was to lead the apostles into all truth -
John 16:13. We have that record in the form of the scriptures, or New Testament. Concerning those things which were about to be revealed (past tense), well, the adverb, all, referred to the fullness of the counsel of that revelation. In other words, after the revelation had been received, there was no further revelation to come. It's also worth noting, the pronoun, you, in verse thirteen (13). In keeping with the proper context of the passage, the pronoun is referring to the people that Jesus addressed at that particular point in time; which of course was the apostles. No doubt this rules out any further revelation. John was the last of the apostles to receive revelation from God. In fact, he was the last of the apostles to live, hence, the last book of the Bible, the revelation of Jesus Christ to his servant John - 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Revelation 1:1. You see, the apostles were the earthen vessels that God had chosen to reveal his will to mankind. Mind you, hand picked by the Lord, even Paul (Acts chapter nine). There you have it. The context of the passage rules out any possibility of further revelation. Actually, the scriptures teach no such thing as personal revelations whatsoever. Does it not strike you as odd when you see those things in a church today? We see this in the Pentecostal church for example, and we all know that Pentecostal churches are not of God. In fact, personal revelations have no part in anything that pertains to the Godhead, and why would they? What kind of God do they think we worship? Saying one thing to one man and something else to another? That's confusion. Yet the Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion - 1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1 Corinthians 14:33. If anything, those who do such things have the propensity to wax further from the authority of the scriptures. It's also mindful that we acknowledge the fact that such things do not go unnoticed by God. You've heard the saying, some men's sins go before, and others follow after - 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Timothy 5:24. 24. Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT COMMUNICATE?
If we are to understand the nature of the New Testament; we also need to understand how the Holy Spirit revealed God's word by revelation, signs and wonders to the early church.
So how does the Holy Spirit communicate with us today? Now it seems that for some, they espouse to themselves the belief that the Spirit communicates through feelings and intuitions (or hunches), as in, the so called inner leading. That's all fine and well until you read what the Bible has to say. Such beliefs equal a subjective form of religion, which largely ignores what the scriptures have to say on any subject, let alone, the Holy Spirit. You see, there's a huge difference between feelings and fact, not to mention, what is right from wrong. So the question remains, how does the Spirit communicate? Well, I guess that leaves us with the only reasonable and intelligible answer we have, that is, through the word. Notice in -
Revelation 2:29, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." What followed, was a letter to each of the churches throughout Asia Minor. In 29. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 1 Timothy 4:1 we read, that the Spirit speaketh expressly (in plain and understandable language), that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Mind you, it was never the function of the Holy Spirit to originate truth; but to reveal truth. The word of truth came from the Father (the first person of the Godhead) - again 1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; John 16:13, cf. 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 17:17. Moreover, Jesus said in 17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 12:49, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." You'll also notice, that in both instances, the origin of the doctrine was with the first person of the Godhead, that is, God the Father. There's absolutely no doubt that the Holy Spirit communicates by the word of God, and indeed, communicated by word, hence the holy men of God that were moved by the Holy Spirit (past tense). 49. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
When Christ concluded his ministry on earth; he returned to the Father from whence he came -
John 16:28. The Holy Spirit continued the work of Christ by leading the apostles into all truth, just as Jesus had said - 28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. John 14:26. It's also worth mentioning - 26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Ephesians 2:20, in that, the church (those that should be saved - 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Acts 2:47), are built upon the foundation of the apostles and Jesus Christ. That clearly shows us that revelation went no further than with them. Paul said, in 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. 1 Corinthians 13:8, that charity (love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. Without going too much into it now; this revelation had to do with the end of the gifts of the Spirit which were evident in the early church. Once the church had been established, and the record of the testimony was written, well, what further use was there for speaking in tongues, or even revelation for that matter? God's purpose was accomplished. Jesus said, "...upon this rock (referring to himself, not Peter), I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." - 8. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. Matthew 16:18. What Jesus was saying, is that, the church would endure (or continue) until he returns again. That in no way suggests he was talking about all the various denominations we see today, who all claim to be Christian, and what have you? but rather, the church that he had established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection. The same church wherein the Holy Spirit led the apostles into all truth. The same church the Holy Spirit mentioned in - 18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Romans 16:16. The same church that's in the business of saving men from hell. 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
WHAT WAS THE GIFT OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES?
So what about the gift of speaking in tongues? What was the purpose of this gift, and is still necessary today? Well, the simple answer is no. The less simple answer, is that, the gift of tongue speaking was for a sign to the unbelieving Jews of that day -
1 Corinthians 14:22. Furthermore, the gift of tongues was only given to men because women were not allowed to speak in the church assemblies. Now this may well sound partisan, and maybe so, but it's what the Bible teaches. Despite the advocation of the feminist movement, and with all due respect; women do not have the right to everything they think they have a right to do. The Holy Spirit used simple and understandable language to convey this message, not to mention, the fact that both verses are for a record in the inspired revelation of - 22. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1 Timothy 2:12, cf. 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Corinthians 14:34. What that means, is that, women must comply to the will of God in this matter also, that is, if they want to be saved - 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. Matthew 24:35. When men refuse the commandment of God; they commit sin. Sin is a transgression of the law - 35. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 1 John 3:4. Moreover, the command is law according to verse thirty four (34). Therefore, it's incumbent that I preach as the oracles of God, that is, if I claim to preach after God. If that involves the condemnation of those things which are inherently wrong, then so be it. After all, whether right or wrong, God is going to judge - 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 2 Corinthians 5:10. Mind you, it's in our best interest to understand what the will of the Lord is - 10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Ephesians 5:17. The only way we can understand the will of the Lord is from the word of the Lord - 17. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 1 Peter 1:25. It's not unreasonable then, that we bear the burden of responsibility for what we choose to believe. Having the ability to choose is a game changer, so to speak. In other words, the use of free will. You see, if men want false teaching, well, there's plenty of that - 25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11. However, if it's truth their after, well, there's only one place to find that - 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: John 17:17. It's how we understand the truth that will determine the outcome. There can only be two outcomes by the way, and that is, we're either right or wrong. Therefore, for us to better understand the role of the Holy Spirit in communicating the doctrine contained in the New Testament, it's crucial that we understand the correlation that exists between the gifts of the Spirit to the early church and the same doctrine in relation to the church today. Without this understanding, it would be impossible for us to grasp the proper context of the New Testament's teaching, and thereby allude ourselves to a false understanding. Notwithstanding, that the same false conclusions are readily employed by charismatics and Pentecostals alike. 17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Work in progress....
End of Introducing Bible Doctrine Part One | 2018