Does I Cor 14:34-35 Apply Today?

September 12, 2019

Some gospel preachers argue I Corinthians 14:34-35 is only talking about prophets’ wives, and since we don’t have prophets today, therefore the passage’s prohibition against women preachers does not apply today.

But as a general rule in this book, the second person refers to the church (1:2) or brethren (14:6,20,26,39) as a whole, while the third person is used when referring to the tongue speakers or prophets specifically (e.g., “him” in verse 28). Just as we do when we are writing a letter, Paul uses the second person to address who he is talking to (the Corinthians as a whole). Paul uses the third person to talk about (not to) a select group of the Corinthians, like the tongue speakers and the prophets. And since I Cor 14:34-35 is addressing “your women” (in the second person), then it naturally follows the passage is addressing the Corinthian women as a whole.

But let me emphasize that even if I am wrong about who the “your women” of verse 34 are, that is, if “your women” does refer only to the prophet’s wives, I Cor 14:34-35 would still apply to women today because verse 35 generalizes the passage to all women, then and now. Whoever the “your women” of verse 34 are, whether they are the Corinthian women as a whole or just the prophets’ wives, verse 35 says they should be silent because “it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” In other words, the Corinthian women (or the prophets’ wives) are not permitted to speak in the assembly, because it is wrong for women in general (all women everywhere) to speak in the church.

And so this passage certainly applies to all women everywhere, then and today!

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Joined Is Not The Same As Bound Or Married

September 5, 2019

In discussing the coming together of husband and wife, Jesus made the following statement in Matt 19:6 – “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Although a lot of writing has been done on the meaning and application of the words “married,” and “bound,” perhaps not as much writing has centered on what is involved in the word “joined” in this text. That is the purpose of this article.

Joined Is Not The Same As Bound

Just as it can be proven from Rom 7:2-3 that “married” and “bound,” though related, are not the same, it can also be proven from Rom 7:2-3 and Matt 19:6 that “joined” and “bound” are not the same. Rom 7:2-3 shows that being “bound” (obligated) to someone implies having sexual relations with someone else (even in state legalized marriage) is adultery. The only two exceptions to this are marriages contracted after the death of the original spouse (Rom 7:2-3), or after the putting away of the original spouse for fornication (Matt 19:9). God only “unbinds” (looses) a person from his or her spouse based upon one of those two scriptural events. It is impossible for a person to loose (“unbind”) himself from his spouse unscripturally. However, Matt 19:6 implies that a man can “disjoin” (put asunder) himself from his spouse unscripturally. The fact that God says not to do it, the fact that He teaches it is a sin to do it, shows it is possible for a man to do it. Since it is impossible for a man to loose God’s marriage “bound” in an unscriptural way, but it is certainly possible for a man to “put asunder” what God has “joined” in an unscriptural way, then “joined” and “bound,” though related, cannot refer to the same thing.

Joined Is Not The Same As Married

We find this same English word “joined” in I Cor 6:16 which reads “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” Under consideration in both passages (Matt 19:6 and I Cor 6:16) is the joining together of “two” people into “one body,” or “one flesh.” Both passages quote Gen 2:24 to make this point, so they have to be talking about the same thing. The context of I Cor 6:16 involves fornication, and does not necessarily involve marriage at all. According to this passage, two single people who commit fornication are “joined” together (but not by God) into the “one flesh” relationship. Since they can be joined without being married, “joined” and “married” do not refer to exactly the same thing.

Joined Is The Sexual Union

I Cor 6:16 makes it obvious that “joined” refers to the physical (sexual) union between two people. Similarly, the word “joined” in Matt 19:6 also refers to the physical union between man and woman. Both passages speak of the joining of two people into the “one flesh” relationship, that is, the sexual union. The only difference between the passages is that, while in I Cor 6:16 a man and woman join themselves sexually without God’s approval, in Matt 19:6, God joins a man and wife sexually by legalizing, authorizing, approving of (I Cor 7:1-2), actually requiring (I Cor 7:3-5) the sexual relationship inside scriptural marriage (Heb 13:4).

How Can Man Put Asunder What God Has Joined?

Seeing then that the joining of man and wife in Matt 19:6 is the legalizing, authorizing, approving of, and requiring of the sexual relationship, how can man violate God’s instruction, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”? One way he can violate this verse is by separating from his spouse, thereby not complying with God’s commandment regarding sexual relations between husband and wife as given in I Cor 7:3-5. Some Christians teach it is permissible to maritally separate as long as there is no divorce. But separation is condemned by many Biblical requirements (passages), one being the requirement of the man and wife to maintain the sexual union as taught by I Cor 7:3-5 and Matt 19:6. Other Christians even allow divorce as long as remarriage does not follow. But again, divorce (and the physical separation that accompanies it) is condemned by God’s requirement that man and woman “join” themselves physically (sexually) when they are married.

Summary

The “joining” of man and woman upon scriptural marriage is not the same as what the word “bound” entails. Neither is it the same as what the word “married” entails. Instead, “joined” refers to the sexual union that should be maintained between husband and wife. Anything that violates this sexual union is sin; it is a transgression of God’s instruction, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

You Are Taking That Verse Out Of Context?

August 29, 2019

Many preachers use the charge “You Are Taking That Verse Out Of Context” as an excuse. When they are shown what the Bible clearly says on a matter, they will make such accusation, but they don’t really have any explanation for why accepting a particular verse at face value is taking it out of context.

I know many such preachers don’t really care about context because when we show them how the context rules out their position on certain “interpretations” of other passages, they pay no attention. For example in my public debates on Once Saved Always Saved, I Cor 3:15 is regularly used to try to prove a Christian can’t fall from grace. When it is shown that the works under consideration in the context of I Cor 3:15 are a teacher’s converts (see also I Cor 9:1), not his personal works, this teacher is not fazed. He has started with his preconceived view that a Christian can’t fall from grace (in spite of texts like Gal 5:4); he needs a verse to bolster his view; so he completely ignores the context of I Cor 3, even though at other times he will scream loud and long about how we must take things in context.

Many gospel preachers do the same. They are insistent that context must be considered (and rightfully so) when it suits their position on a topic, but when they are shown the context rules out their position on another topic, they are fine with just ignoring the context there. For example many gospel preachers have switched to the now popular position that Jesus in Matt 5:21-48 is just correcting false interpretations of the old testament law, but when you show them that everything in the context indicates Jesus is teaching new testament law in the section, they balk. For example just three verses prior to the beginning of the sermon on the mount, Matt 4:23 says “Jesus went about … preaching the gospel of the kingdom.” Though they will insist we must consider the context of other texts, since the context here consistently falsifies their position, they choose to ignore context here.

I Tim 2:11-12 is another example of such. Everything in the context of that chapter screams that the text also applies to secular matters, that women are not to teach or usurp authority over a man under any circumstance, but since most preachers believe it only applies to the church and perhaps Bible studies, most will ignore the context to protect their already existing practice. Write me if you want more details about the context on this point, but consider that no one thinks the two verses just previous (about Christians wearing modest clothing) only applies to the church and perhaps Bible studies, do they?

When we say “a verse must be taken in context,” let’s really mean that and do it every time, not just on passages where it helps our case. “You should take that passage in context” is not just an excuse to reject what we don’t want to believe, but is truly a valid and important rule for understanding God’s word, and should be applied across the board.

A Christian’s Body Is The Temple Of The Holy Ghost

August 15, 2019

I Corinthians 6:18-19 reads “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

What is Paul’s simple argument here?. Our “body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,” therefore don’t defile the Holy Spirit’s temple by sinning with/against the body.

When we sin, the Holy Ghost (God’s “seal” of approval – Eph 1:13-14) has to leave us (see also Psalms 51:11b)

Verse 19 says “the Holy Ghost … is in you.” Many Christians don’t really believe the Holy Ghost is actually in them, do they?

Does I Cor 1:17 Say Baptism Is Not Part of the Gospel?

August 8, 2019

Some preachers claim I Corinthians 1:17 (“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel) proves baptism is not part of the gospel, and therefore is not necessary to salvation.

But this passage is actually making a contrast between the physical act of baptizing and preaching, not baptizing and the gospel. Of course when we preach we are not baptizing, but scriptural gospel preaching includes preaching the necessity of baptism:

· Mark 16:15-16 “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel … He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved …”

· Acts 8:35-36 preaching Jesus included preaching baptism

I Cor 1:17 is a “not/but” passage. A “not/but” passage emphasizes one thing over another thing, but does not necessarily exclude the other entirely. John 6:27 (“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life”) is another good illustration of such. It isn’t teaching we shouldn’t labor for physical food at all (II Thess 3:10), but is emphasizing that labor for spiritual food is more important than labor for physical food. Likewise, I Cor 1:17 is not excluding Paul baptizing entirely (that would contradict verses 14, 16, etc. that says he did baptize). It is emphasizing Paul’s preaching work over his baptizing work (which others could do just as well as he could).

In the context, the Corinthians were dividing up over (and following) who baptized them (verse 10ff). Paul’s contextual point then in verse 17 is that it doesn’t matter who baptizes you; that it only matters that you were baptized in the name (by the authority) of Christ.

So actually the context of I Corinthians 1 proves baptism is necessary:

· Paul teaches in verses 12-13 that for a person to be “of Paul,” (i.e., a follower of Paul), Paul must have been crucified for him, and that person would have had to have been baptized in the name of Paul.

· This necessarily implies that for a person to be “of Christ” (i.e., a follower of Christ, a Christian), Christ must have been crucified for him, and that person would have to be BAPTIZED in the name of Christ.

I Pet 3:21 says “… baptism doth also now save us …” – there is no way to get around that.

Billy Graham On Whether Jews And Muslims Are Saved Because They Believe In The God Of Abraham

August 1, 2019

The question has come up often on my Bible Crossfire radio program – “Will Jews and Muslims and those of other non-Christian religions be saved even though they don’t believe in Jesus?” Evidently Billy Graham thought so. Notice these two quotes from him:

· Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts they need something that they don’t have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they’re saved and they’re going to be with us in heaven. (interview with Robert Schuller, 5-31-1997)

· I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost — were going to h-e-l-l — if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. … I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God—through nature, for instance—and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying ‘yes’ to God. (McCall’s magazine, Jan 1978)

But what does the Bible say on the question?:

· John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

· John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Who are you going to believe – Billy Graham or God’s word?

And if Billy Graham was willing to compromise on this issue, might he have compromised on other issues – teaching contrary to God’s word? I can think of at least two other major issues he compromised on. Write me if you want to know what they were.

John 7:17 Illustrated

July 26, 2019

John 7:17 reads “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” That text teaches God guarantees those who want to do His will, those who are doing His will, will know God’s true doctrine. It is very much like Matt 5:6 (“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”) and Matt 7:7 (“seek, and ye shall find”) in that regard.

Let me illustrate how John 7:17 is so true. Suppose for example a person is in a physically pleasing … but adulterous marriage per Matt 19:9 and similar passages. And staying in that marriage is really more important to him that serving the Lord as first priority. That being the case, he will invent ways to twist the scriptures so he can ignore passages like Rev 21:8 that teach the sexually immoral will be lost, and so he can ignore illustrations like Mark 6:17-18 where John told Herod his marriage was “not lawful.” He will also try to finagle passages that require more than just belief to be saved so he can say “I believe in Christ so I am going to be saved; it doesn’t matter how I live.” He will therefore have to find a way to get around the plain meaning of passages like Luke 13:3 that absolutely require repentance for salvation, and passages like Heb 5:9 that clearly require one to obey in order to be saved. Bluntly put, he will find a way to get around the plain meaning of hundreds of scriptures that require more than just belief to be saved, or that condemn his ungodly living.

The negative of John 7:17 describes this person well, because that person will never know the doctrine of God, the truth, because he is bent on trying to force all passages to fit his predetermined desire to stay with his unscriptural wife and/or his worldly lifestyle. Continuing in God’s truth (John 8:31-32) is not of utmost importance to him; living how he wants to live is. He will conform the Bible to his life instead of the other way around. Since he is not intent on doing God’s will, he will not know the doctrine of Christ (II John 9).  II Thess 2:10-12 describes this person – “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be d-a-m-n-e-d who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Some For Whom Christ Died Will Be Lost, Therefore Salvation Must Be Conditional

July 18, 2019

The following passages prove some for whom Christ died will be lost:

I Cor 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Rom 14:15,23 … if thy brother be grieved … Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. … he that doubteth is d-a-m-n-e-d if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

II Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in d‑a‑m‑n‑a‑b‑l‑e heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

The Calvinist has two options:

· either Christ died for more than just the elect (the “limited atonement” theory is false)

· or some of the elect can be lost

The point is that since some of those Christ died for will be lost, that shows more have the opportunity to be saved than take advantage of that opportunity. This proves that we have a say in the final determination of our election/salvation; it is conditioned upon something we do – whether or not we trust and obey (II Thess 1:8).

Baptists Are Playing Games With The Word Of God

July 11, 2019

Aren’t Baptists playing games with the word of God? Let me give two illustrations of what I am talking about …

Baptists quote passages like John 3:16 to prove a sinner doesn’t have to be baptized to be saved. Their reasoning is that the verse talks about what a sinner must do to be saved, and it doesn’t mention baptism. But the standard Baptist position is that a sinner also has to repent (Luke 13:3, etc) and confess (Rom 10:9-10) in order to be saved, and those two conditions are not mentioned in John 3:16 either. Isn’t that being inconsistent? Why does John 3:16 rule out baptism as necessary because baptism is not mentioned there, but John 3:16 does not rule out repentance and confession as necessary because repentance and confession are not mentioned there either? If we can go to passages other than John 3:16 to find out repentance and confession are necessary, then why can’t we similarly go to passages other than John 3:16 to find out baptism is necessary – like Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and I Pet 3:21? Matt 4:4 (“Man shall … by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”) is true in either case, right?

Baptists have always used Rom 6:3-5 to prove to Methodists that water baptism should be an immersion in water because the passage calls it a “burial” and teaches it is a likeness of the burial and resurrection of Christ. Their point is correct – sprinkling for baptism is not a burial in water, neither does it picture a burial and resurrection. But when the Baptists are arguing that water baptism is not necessary to salvation, they will say Rom 6:3-5 is talking about Holy Spirit Baptism, because they know the text says we are baptized “into Christ” and “into His death.” How can Rom 6:3-5 be talking about water baptism when we are debating the action/mode of baptism but be talking about Holy Spirit baptism when we are debating the purpose of baptism?

See what I mean?

Is I Cor 11:3 Only Talking About Husbands And Wives?

July 4, 2019

I Corinthians 11:3 says “the head of the woman is the man.” Is that only saying a husband is the head over his wife, or is it saying that women are to be in submission to men in general (not just their husbands)?

The fact that I Cor 11:3 reads “man” and “woman” (not “husband” and “wife) should be our first clue the verse is teaching men in general are head of women in general, not husbands are over their wives in particular (which is taught in Eph 5:22-24). Why did the translators choose to render I Cor 11:3 that way? Evidently because of the context (as the Greek could go either way). Consider the following contextual points …

If I Cor 11:3 is only talking about husbands and wives, then:

· Christ is only the head of husbands, not single men (verse 3) – Note:The ESV translation has “the head of a wife is her husband” but the translators realize this problem so they inconsistently translate the earlier phrase “the head of every man is Christ.” Either both should be translated husband or both man. You can’t have it both ways.

· only husbands (not single men) must be uncovered when they pray (verses 4,7)

· only wives (not single ladies) must be covered when they pray (verses 5,6,10,13)

· it is only a shame for wives to be shorn or shaven (verse 6), not single ladies

· only husbands (not all men) are made in the image and glory of God (verse 7)

· only wives (not all women) are the glory of man (verse 7)

· husbands are born of their wife, not their mother (verse 12b)

· it is only shameful for a husband to have long hair (verse 14), not a single man

· it is only a glory for a wife to have long hair (verse 15), not a single woman

· hair is given for a covering only to wives (verse 15), not single women

The fact that I Cor 11:3 is teaching men in general have headship over women in general is confirmed by I Tim 2:11-12 which teaches the same thing … unless one thinks I Tim 2:11-12 is only talking about husbands and wives also? – in which case it would be scriptural for a woman to lead a Bible study or lead a prayer over men, as long as the audience didn’t include her husband.