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 you can tell a white lie. That in turn 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.
FEMINISM AND MORAL DECADENCE
Now it's absolutely shameful to see so many women banding together in trying to equal themselves with men. That's not the way God intended, nor indeed will it ever succeed to the extent that God's law regarding the matter will be overturned. Women have their God given roles in life, and it doesn't include trying to be like men. The laws that govern nature are fastidiously ignored by those who advocate to that same end. Now some will arguably oppose what I've just said, however, there still remains a discernable number who see the wrong that's being perpetrated against both men and women alike. Feminism in no way speaks for all women. There exists a ponderous dissimilarity between a feminist and a godly woman. Let's take for example the game of football. Now we all know well that rugby is a man's game, that is, until recently. That's all well and good until you cast your eyes on the thick bull necks on some of those women who play rugby. All I can say, is that, their the furthest thing I've ever seen from what you'd call lady like. It's just downright ugly to see women arrayed in such a fashion, let alone, built like men. What's more, I'm not at all intimidated in speaking out against this dubious predisposition to alter the natural role of women; in which God who is the Creator of mankind set the precedent -
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. In my opinion, all it amounts to is a talk shop that will eventually come to 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. nought. However, and more importantly; is the fact, that it proves the flagrant animosity that exists against almighty God.
Now here's something else that demands our attention, and that is, the lack of raiment that women call clothes, or should I say, the lack of clothes. What's claimed to be the proper in terms of acceptable, is grossly improper, not to mention, impetuous. I'm not one bit surprised when I hear that rapes and sexual assults against women are on the increase. What do they expect when they hardly wear any clothes? Now I'm not implying that all women are like this; only those who are. It seems that everywhere you go it's in your face. You see, clothes are for a covering, well, that's what the Lord God implied -
Genesis 3:21. If the women who are doing this want to continue exposing and exhibiting their nakedness; then they should find themselves a husband - 21. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 1 Corinthians 7:9. The Bible makes it clear that there's a time and a place for everything - 9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. Ecclesiastes 3:1. Nakedness in any of it's forms in public is just not one of them. It's also disrespectful towards those who don't do those things. When parents allow their daughters to go out in public in clothes that would barely make it as underware not so long ago, well, you have to wonder are they really doing their job - 1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Proverbs 22:6. You could call it "bad parenting." Then again, some of the parents we see today are a far cry from what you'd call role models. Morals to them are just something you hang on the wall. Isin't that it? Whatever happened to sparing the rod, let alone, using it? - 6. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 13:24. If anything, it's trampish and unbecoming to parade oneself in such an untoward demeanor. 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. It seems they have a burning desire to be manlike; or at least assume that role. The Bible calls it usurping the authority of man - 24. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. 1 Timothy 2:12. Either way, it's setting a very dangerous precedence. The current vanity which is called feminism, is effectively extirpating the God ordained role of woman as the crown of man to nought - 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. Proverbs 12:4. Withal, they even want to legalise breast feeding in public. I'd dare say, even the perverts and sexual sickos would welcome such a move, and there's plenty of them. It seems that the feminists haven't thought things through very well. 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 we live in. There's more equilibrium in finding water in hell than answering a woman who hath no respect of persons, let alone, herself. They say, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well I say, add this to your scorn list: Hell is a long time for regret! Hell is the expedient of eternity for those that refuse to suffer righteousness. 4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
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. There's your precedence. You see then how utterly wrong things have allowed to become? 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 ABORTION FACTOR
So what about fornication and abortion? Fornication and abortion are interrelated; in the sense, that one cannot be 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 my friend. 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.
WHAT ABOUT SAME SEX MARRIAGE?
Homosexuality in all its forms is wrong. That's what the Bible teaches. Nature itself testifies that even suggesting same-sex as something to embrace, is absolutely reprehensible. Life could not survive naturally without the opposite sex. That's why there's male and female. God said to Adam and Eve (man and woman), to be fruitful and multiply -
Genesis 1:28. Notice, however, that God didn't expound beyond the male and female condition. Why? Because it was never God's intention. Nor indeed am I convinced that this so called "gay gene" that's claimed to have been discovered explains why some people are attracted to the same sex. The Bible, however, does have something to say about this. 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 explains that homosexuality is a choice, and an erroneous 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 recompense of their error. That implies that the individual is at fault. It rules out genetics that's for sure. You see, homosexuality in and of itself has all the hallmarks of lust! Paul said it in no uncertain terms. After all, I dare say, God knows best.
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 or blame 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." Now someone might well ask; from whence cometh their offspring? If such a thing is as natural as they maintain; then why hasn't God, even nature; made provision for them to childbear? The reason is that it's not natural; so childbearing between two of the same sex is not possible - Romans 9:20. Adoption, on the other hand, is just an artificial justification to have what they otherwise cannot obtain. No child should be subject to such an environment.
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 - 20. Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 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.
Now if you don't like that I speak after the oracles of God -
1 Peter 4:11; then you don't have to listen. The Bible says, that the wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him - 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. Psalm 37:32.
However, if you value your own soul; then you had better listen with intent. 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 - 32. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. 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 seemingly procures to the same end. In saying that, the media procures to any end that will get them news. 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 GENDER EQUALITY?
We're seeing a lot of that these days, and especially so on the telly. At first glace it might appear innocent enough, 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.
HAVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO PREACH?
Well the simple answer is no, and rightly so; since God has determined this according to his own counsel. As strange as it may sound; in the Lord's church a woman has no right to preach, let alone, speak -
1 Timothy 2:12. That doesn't rest well with the decorum of today; but what of that? It's what the Bible teaches. No man has the authority to change this, that is, unless he is found to fight against God. Now we all know what the end of that will be. This seemingly strange command is one of those marks that sets the churches of Christ apart from all others, inasmuch, as we don't use musical instruments in worship either. Christians (narrow-term) are under the law of Christ. The law of Christ demands our obedience. A lukewarm, or double standard church, will 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. 16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Now as the saying goes, "Wag the dog." Whatever way one chooses to look at it; the notion of women preaching has it's roots in the ancient nemesis of rebellion -
1 Samuel 15:23, in other words, feminism. Feminism is women trying to be like men. The notion itself is absolutely absurd. Yet they press on in the false hope of procuring their wayward end; like those who have run the gauntlet in terms of same sex marriages. Now it goes without saying that such movements are evil, in, and of themselves, that nothing good will ever come of them. That said, it still remains that the pen is mightier than the sword in terms of educating the ignorant. Knowing right well that the record testifies to the will of God. In a rhetorical sense, the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men - 23. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 1 Corinthians 1:25. My friend, rebellion in any of it's forms is to be found fighting against God - 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Acts 5:39. 39. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Any God fearing woman will know what the Bible teaches concerning her role as a Christian, and a woman. The reality is that virtuous women are few and far between, and that's all down to what's being taught -
Proverbs 31:10. The human condition is not precocial, but rather altricial. In other words, having to be taught. That said, the same could be said of morality. The current generation is a testimony to that. Needless to say that the flesh is rebellious by nature. Who can dispute it? - 10. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Romans 8:7. We all come short of the glory of God - 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 3:23. Yet to rebel is to go further than coming short. To rebel is to refuse. Now I'm not here to foster political correctness as some of you know well, but rather, to teach that which is able to save your soul - 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; James 1:21, cf. 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 1 Timothy 4:16. To be God correct is what really matters. 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.
Now all that sounds well and good except for this so called feminist movement which seems to be encroaching on all quarters of modern society as we know it, and of course ushered along by the farce of political correctedness that defines our time, and what have you? Is it any wonder that we are witnessing the demise of the God ordained marriage, let alone, the family setting as it ought to be, and the ebbing away of moral dictate that was handed down by tradition from those who held the word of God in faith and verity? As I said earlier, I refuse to be politically correct, indeed, anything that would cause to separate us from fellowship with God, and for what? just to suit the trouble makers? Now to be more precise, women are forbidden to preach or teach in the Lord's church. It's also certain that this is not going to change. You see, the command came by the Spirit unto the holy men of God, and I dare say anything has changed with respect to God's will on the matter -
Hebrews 13:8. If and when such a thing does occur in the Lord's church, we can be sure it was brought about in the throws of rebellion and apostasy. The Bible is the measure of God that is set before church - 8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. John 12:48. Now there are many versions of the Bible as we all know well. No one disputes that. The problem is the lack of reverence men have for the Bible, not to mention, it being the final authority in all things that pertain to the church. The word of God has been lost from the hearts of men. They read but they don't heed. Behold the book of the law of God which was found in 2 King 22? Well, the same remains in plain sight for those that would to be faithful in the now. Those that have doubt should seek it out. You see, we still have the old reliable King James Bible which is a testimony in itself. Peter said that the word of the Lord endureth forever, excluding variations of course - 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. 1 Peter 1:25. Well, we can safely conclude that Satan's been hard at work. As the saying goes, no rest for the wicked! It's no secret that the mystery of iniquity has been active for a long time - 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 2:7. I suppose another reason for deceptions to linger no doubt. When the time comes, God will recompense that's for sure - 7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 1:8. You can rest your laurels on that my friend. Now it goes without saying, that those who refuse the gospel of Jesus Christ are the same as those who refuse to obey it. Either way, it's the same thing, and the same outcome, which is hell. So when some loud-mouthed feminist comes along shouting her head off with regards to so called subjective evidence and hear say - 8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: James 1:22, well, any man who is faithful to the word of God must put his foot down. If he refuses then he is unfaithful to God. How can a man minister to the church on one part of the inspired text and not on the other? Is it possible and still be on good terms with God? Well Paul said concerning preaching; do nothing by partiality - 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 1 Timothy 5:21. It's all or nothing my friend - 21. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Acts 20:27. 27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
God does not compromise on any part of his word. The record itself testifies to that, so we had better get used to it if we want to be saved, that is. As a matter of fact, very few look to the Bible nowadays for any kind of direction, let alone, authority in religion. If they do look to the Bible, it's usually in part, or to criticize. Now that speaks for itself. If you call yourself a Christian; then there is no walking away from the commmandment as if God was some respector of persons. There's no such thing as one thing for one man and something else for another. That's partiality. Yet the Bible tells us that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God -
Romans 3:23. Therefore, the record testifies to all. Mind you, when you have loud-mouthed women and weak men in a church; that shows us that something is grievously wrong. It also shows us that such a church does not adhere to certain of the first principals of the oracles of God. The record declares that women are to keep silence in the churches: for they are not permitted to speak; but they are commmanded to be under obedience as also saith the law - 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 1 Corinthians 14:34. So what, if women have to keep silence in the churches. What of it? Are we not to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord? We do this by obeying his word - 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. James 4:10. Now in saying that, verse 34 is not some kind of overpowering objective devised on the part of man, nor is it a cultural thing of times past as some have suggested; but rather, a commmandment given by the Holy Spirit from God. God is the one who gave the command for women to be silent in the churches. Now please if you will, let us reason the scriptures that we might inherit a blessing. For such things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience - 10. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Colossians 3:6. The nature of unruliness itself, such as feminism, is diametrically opposed to the will of God. It was never the intention of Almighty God that the woman should be the bread winner, let alone, have rule over the man. That role belongs to the husband. The Bible teaches that the man was not made for the woman; but the woman for the man - 6. For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 1 Corinthians 11:9. Her place is in the home. At the end of the day our objective is to obey God and live. 9. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
Now the same cannot be said of those women we see babbling off throughout the mainstream and religious denominations as though they were ordained of God to such a role. Such are the messengers of Satan and not of God. They have no authority to do such things; though they be without. What's more, though they be without, they do possess a certain degree of knowledge which suggests a form of wilful ignorance on their part. The point I'm making, is that, even some within the ranks of the Lord's church have succumbed to similar notions, if not, influence. Moreover, they have no right in the sight of almighty God to procure to such an end. All it amounts to is disobedience. Now the simple solution is if they don't like what they see; they should go elsewhere. No one is forced to be a member of the Lord's church. However, if one wants to be saved; then they might well put up with it. At the end of the day, the church of Christ is subject to the law of Christ. In
Luke 6:46, Jesus said, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? The Holy Spirit gave Paul to write by inspiration a command for women to remain silent in the church - 46. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 1 Corinthians 14:34. Paul was one of the earthen vessels in whom God choose to deliver his word. As a matter of fact, Paul is the writer of over half of the New Testament. Now it's certain that no man has the authority to alter even the smallest part, let alone, any part of the inspired record. Therefore the six hundred plus commandments in the New Testament will remain until the fulness of the third dispensation (or church age) has come to pass. That includes the command for women to be silent in the churches. 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.
In saying that, it also answers our question. Have women the right to preach? Well, if silence is the command; then how can one preach in silence? Or as the saying goes: "A shut mouth saves lives."
HOW MANY GOSPELS ARE THERE?
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 Introductional Article Dissertation Two | ..... 2018