We Ought To Say ‘If The Lord Will’

May 26, 2017

Instead of just assuming certain things will happen in the future, James 4:15 instructs that we “ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Notice this verse is talking about an “ought” (requirement), not just a suggestion. And the text says we ought to say, not just that we ought to think. There’s a difference you know.

Paul made a practice of doing this very thing – actually saying “if the Lord will” (Acts 18:21, I Cor 4:19, I Cor 16:7). We should follow those approved examples, shouldn’t we (Phil 4:9)? There’s more than just one New Testament approved example you know.

When the Oneness Pentecostals incorrectly insist in debate that we must orally pronounce a “baptismal formula” over the baptismal candidate that includes the word “Jesus” (so that “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is considered unscriptural), we respond that if they can find even one verse that tells us what the baptizer “said,” we will say and bind that. Aren’t we being disingenuous if we don’t follow through on that claim with James 4:15?

If God says we “ought to say” something, why don’t we teach we ought to say it?

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If We Deny God, He Will Deny Us

May 19, 2017

II Timothy 2:12b says about God “if we deny Him, he also will deny us.” This verse absolutely and conclusively refutes the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine. A little grammar tells us that “we” and “us” include the writer and his audience. The “we” and “us” in this verse then most definitely includes Christians as Paul the apostle is the writer (II Tim 1:1) and Timothy the preacher (II Tim 1:2,4:2) is the one being written to. God will deny Christians (will not save them) if they deny Him.

Some might retort that a true Christian would never deny God, but why would Paul warn Christians against denying God if that were impossible?  Many scriptures show it is possible for a Christian to change his mind. Let’s take as one example Hebrews 3:1a,12 which reads “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling …Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” So it is very possible for a brother in Christ, one who has partaken of the heavenly calling (a true Christian), to change to become an unbeliever and depart from God.

Is short, it is possible for a Christian to deny God, and if he does, God will deny him. He forfeits his salvation (Matt 10:32-33). The Old Testament teaches the same in II Chron 15:2 – “If You Forsake Him, He Will Forsake You.”

If Mark 11:24 Doesn’t Mean “Faith Only” Then Why Would John 3:16?

May 11, 2017

Jesus said in Mark 11:24 “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Even though the only condition stated in the verse for receiving what you pray for is “believe” that your will receive them, nobody thinks that is the only condition for such.

We all know other passages state other conditions for our prayers being answered, for example:

· I Pet 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

· James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

· I John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

So if everybody can see Mark 11:24 doesn’t mean “believe only,” then everybody ought to also be able to see that passages like John 3:16 don’t mean “believe only.” Both Mark 11:24 and John 3:16 state a required condition (believe) for the benefit under consideration, but do not state all the required conditions. They are exactly the same in the respect we are talking about. We must take all the Bible says on both prayer and salvation to get a complete picture.

Matt 27:46 Means The Obvious – Jesus Was Forsaken

May 5, 2017

Jesus said in Matthew 27:46 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” You would think from that statement it would be pretty easy to understand that the Father forsook Jesus on the cross. But as an affront to the critical “take the plain meaning of the Bible when possible” rule (Eph 3:4), some Christians deny such. They say Jesus didn’t really mean what He appeared to be saying, but was only calling attention to Psalms 22 for the benefit of those at the foot of the cross. But that clearly won’t work because Jesus didn’t even bother to make himself clear enough to keep that “audience” from mistakenly thinking He was calling for Elias (verse 47). If He was only trying to make a point to those below, Jesus miserably failed at what He was intending to accomplish. No way Jose.

How could one deny the Father forsook Jesus when Jesus is plainly asking the Father why He did just that? I count 31 times in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John where Jesus asked why someone did something, and every single time, in all 31 cases, that someone had actually done what Jesus was asking why about. I am confident that stat doesn’t surprise you in the least – because we all inherently know …

If Jack asks a friend John “why did you forsake me?” – that means one of three things:

· Jack is lying

· Jack is mistaken

· Jack was forsaken

Which was it for Jesus?

Caiaphas’ Prophecy – Jesus Should Die Instead Of The Jews

April 28, 2017

John 11:50-52 reads “… Caiaphas … said … consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

Caiaphas was advising that Jesus should die for the Jewish nation. Not just for their benefit, but instead of them. He was thinking that if Jesus caused too much of an uproar, the Romans would come down hard on the occupied nation and there would be much Jewish bloodshed. Caiaphas reasoned it is better that one man die instead of the nation as a whole perish. As Bob Myhan said in his article on “Penal Substitution” (2-24-14) – “…Caiaphas wanted Jesus to die instead of or in place of Israel ….”

Now Caiaphas meant Jesus should die for the physical salvation of the Jews, but “this spake he not of himself” – God was prophesying through him to mean the Jews’ spiritual salvation. So putting 2 and 2 together, Jesus was to die instead of, in the place of the Jewish nation (and the Gentiles, verse 52) – for their spiritual salvation.

See the proof of the Substitutionary death of Christ?

Gen 22 – Type And Antitype – Offering Isaac

April 21, 2017

In Genesis 22:8 Abraham said to Isaac “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” Isn’t that such an amazingly wonderful statement because it also describes how God himself would eventually provide the ultimate / effectual sacrifice for us? I like how Louis Berkhof put it: “God might have demanded a personal atonement of the sinner, but the latter would not have been able to render it.”

Verse 13 says Abraham “offered him (the ram) up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” Doesn’t “in the stead of” mean “in place of” or “substituting for”? My friend and brother Maurice Barnett agreed in Gospel Truths (June 2012) – “Certainly, the ram was killed on the altar in the place of Isaac because the text says so.” Believers have always taught correctly that this story of Abraham and Isaac is a type pointing to Jesus’ sacrifice (John 1:29, Isaiah 53:5-7, I Pet 1:18-19, Rev 14:4, etc.). Surely we’re not going to backtrack now?

Conclusion: The ram dying in the place of Isaac is a type of Christ – therefore Christ died in place of us. See the proof?

A Christian On Women Preachers And The Covering

April 14, 2017

Following is what a Christian (Greg Casteel) wrote on 2-29-96 regarding I Cor 14:34-35 and why he thinks it is okay for women to preach in the church …

· The “command” might not apply today at all …. It is my opinion that they objected because it was the custom of the day for women to remain silent in public assemblies, and let their husbands speak for them; and they were offended that some of the Corinthian women were violating this custom. (I interpret the issue of married women wearing a head covering in the same light.) Rather than allow the issue to cause disruption within the church, Paul upheld the social custom of the day

· It is perfectly proper for churches to expect their members to adhere to societal norms and customs (as long as they are not in conflict with God’s will, of course), and I think that is exactly the point that Paul was making when he wrote that women should remain silent in the assembly, and when he wrote that married women should wear a covering for their heads to show their subjection to their husbands.

· … the churches need to reconsider whether or not the command for women to keep silent in the assembly is still applicable, now that the social conventions regarding the proper conduct of women in public have changed.

Now do you see now why I believe God’s covering requirement of I Cor 11:2-16 is still applicable today? (see I Cor 14:37, etc.)

Don’t Add To Or Take Away From God’s Word

April 8, 2017

Revelation 22:18-19 reads “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” So we should not add to or take away from God’s word. This text says if we do, our part shall be taken out of the book of life. That would mean we would lose our salvation since the book of life is God’s list of all His saved people.

Most likely this text is talking about the book of Revelation itself, but there are plenty of other similar passages in the Bible that extend this principle to the whole Bible. For example Deut 4:2 has it “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

How can we be guilty of adding to the word of God? Well we could do it literally like the Mormons do – they add to the scriptures the Book Of Mormon, The Pearl Of Great Price, and The Doctrine And Covenants. But there are ways to add to God’s word without doing that. For example, Rom 6:4 says we are “buried with him (Christ) by baptism.” When we take someone who dies out to the graveyard to “bury” them, we don’t just stand them up and sprinkle a little dirt on the head; we put them all the way under the ground. So we all know what “buried” means. In baptism then we should bury the person in the water. Now wouldn’t practicing sprinkling for baptism then be adding to God’s word? It would be like writing a new verse in the Bible that would authorize sprinkling. See what I mean?

How can we be guilty of taking away from the word of God? We could do that literally by taking the scissors and cutting out parts of the Bible we don’t like. I don’t know many people who do that, but I know many who ignore Bible passages they don’t like. Isn’t that the same thing in effect? For example I Cor 14:34-35 clearly condemns “women preachers” when it says “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. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” Yet as clear as that passage is, most churches run merrily along allowing women to preach from their pulpit ignoring what the Bible says on the topic. They are in effect, subtracting I Cor 14:34-35 and similar verses from the Bible.

Aren’t churches also subtracting from God’s word when they ignore Acts 20:7 which teaches congregations should partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday? Let me read that verse – “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” The breaking of bread here refers to the Lord’s Supper (I Cor 10:16), and so the disciples we should be emulating ate the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week.

Aren’t churches adding to God’s word when they practice infant baptism? You can’t read anywhere in the Bible about infant baptism. And wouldn’t Acts 8:36-37 prove infant baptism is unscriptural? That passage reads “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest …” In other words one must believe first before he can be baptized, and an infant can’t believe, he doesn’t have the capability, the maturity for that.

The truth is the Catholic church started infant baptism centuries after the New Testament was written. And they began baptizing infants because they made up another doctrine not taught by the Bible – original sin. They thought infants are born with the guilt of Adam’s first sin, and therefore need baptism to get rid of that sin. But the truth is the Bible nowhere teaches the inheriting of original sin. Teaching that idea is just another example of adding to God’s word. To the contrary, Ezek 18:20 says plainly “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” And since infants have so sin, they have no need to be baptized anyway.

Most denominations subtract from God’s word when they take away something else clearly taught by the Bible, that obedience is necessary to salvation. Doesn’t Heb 5:9 make that requirement clear? – “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” Yet many churches teach all a person has to do to be saved is “accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.” In other words, all you have to do to be saved is believe. This false concept is refuted by dozens of Bible passages. How about I Pet 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth …”? So if we want to be saved, if we want our souls purified from sin, we have to do more than believe, have to also obey the truth.

Have you obeyed the truth? Do you even know what it means to obey the truth?

What Does I Cor 12:13 Mean When It Says “All … Have Been … Made To Drink Into One Spirit”?

March 31, 2017

I Corinthians 12:13 reads “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been ALL made to drink into one Spirit.”

This verse considers three different things all involving the “one” concept:

1. by (through the teaching of) one Spirit

2. are we all (water) baptized into one body

3. and have been all made to drink into one Spirit

#3 is not the same as #1

Consider the third clause further. In the phrase “drink into one Spirit”:

• “drink” is a metaphor (like “pour” in “it is pouring rain outside”) meaning to partake of or receive

• “Spirit” is the literal Holy Spirit

Conclusion: All those who have been baptized, all Christians, have received the Holy Spirit – when they were baptized into the body/church (Acts 2:38). If you have been baptized scripturally, then you should thank God for this wonderful gift.

Does God Love Everybody Or Just Those Who Love Him?

March 23, 2017

The answer to that question is yes. The scriptures teach that God loves everybody, but the scriptures also say He loves those that love Him.

God loves everybody in the sense that He wants what’s best for them, especially regarding their spiritual welfare. He loves everybody so much He was willing to send His son to die on the cross so that everybody has the opportunity to be saved from their sins. The most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, teaches that. II Pet 3:9 teaches the same when it says God “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” That’s everybody.

But God only loves those who love him – in the sense that He only saves those who love Him. Following is a sampling of the passages that teach such:

Prov 8:17 – “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

John 14:21 – “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

John 14:23 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

So only if we love God, will God love us in the sense that He fellowships us and gives us eternal life. And loving God is defined by John 14:21 above as keeping God’s commandments. Are you keeping God’s commandments? You must if you want God to save you from your sins.