Archive for December, 2015

Time Does Not Forgive Sin

December 25, 2015

Exod 17:8-16 and Deut 25:17-19 relate the story of the Israelites doing battle with the nation of Amalek, and God saying he would remember the Amalekites and their sin of opposing His chosen people. We see from I Sam 15:2ff that God made good on that promise hundreds of years later; He ordered the Israelites to destroy Amalek for their previous transgression. Time did not forgive the Amalekites’ sin.

In Matt 5:23-24 Jesus uses an Old Testament scenario to illustrate His New Testament teaching that if we have sinned against someone, our first priority should be to go make that right with the offended party. Jesus puts no time limit on this important requirement. If we sinned against a brother a hundred years ago, we still need to go and ask for his forgiveness. It takes a humble heart.

In Matt 18:15-17 our Lord gives (preparatory) New Testament teaching that if our brother sins against us, our duty is to lovingly try to get the offending party to repent so He can be forgiven by God. There is no time limit put on this requirement either, yet I have known Christians who have stood strongly against the sins of other Christians at one point, but then over time they weaken and compromise, and start bidding Godspeed to those same erring Christians – even though there is no evidence of any repentance. If brethren sinned over 30 years ago, we still need to continue to rebuke them as we have opportunity (Gal 2:11-12, Eph 5:11), until they repent (Luke 17:3). And we need to warn other faithful Christians to do the same (Acts 20:31, Col 1:28). We have to stand strong until the day we die (I Cor 16:13, II Tim 4:16), not just until retirement age.

And if we have sinned against God, there is still no time limit. Others may forget about our sin, but the Amalek story referenced above (and many other passages) teach us God expects us to repent no matter how long it has been since we sinned against Him. Jesus’ ultimatum to repent (e.g., Luke 13:3) does not change with the passing of time. If we secretly told a lie, we are going to have to ask God to forgive us for it (I John 1:9) – or we will be lost (Rev 21:8). It matters not how long ago we told the lie. Couples in adulterous marriages (per Matt 19:9) are going to have to terminate those marriages, regardless of how long they have been in a “loving” relationship, and regardless of whether or not they have children together (Ezra 10:11,44). One act of fornication (I Cor 7:2) has to be repudiated, even if it occurred long ago in the days of our youth.

Conclusion: Do you know of sin that needs to be made right with man or God? No matter how long it has been, better take care of it before it is too late (Rev 14:13).

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The Covering Of I Cor 11:5 Is Used For An Occasion

December 18, 2015

I Corinthians 11:5 certainly teaches a woman should be covered when she prays, the only question is – is the verse talking about an artificial cloth type covering, or is it just speaking of the natural long hair that is required by I Cor 11:5? I suggest we know the covering of I Cor 11:5 is artificial, because it is to cover for an occasion, that occasion being, when a woman prays or prophesies.

Notice an everyday illustration: Suppose a Father said to his daughter, “be sure and have your head covered when you go outside.” Would the Father be commanding his daughter to keep her long hair, or would he be commanding her to put on an artificial covering?

Next let me give a Bible parallel from Esther 6:12 which reads “And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.” Haman of course covered his head as part of his mourning. We know it was an artificial covering, because it covered for an occasion (his time of mourning). Don’t we?

For the exact same reason, we know the covering of I Cor 11:5 is artificial – because it is to cover for an occasion, that is, when a woman prays or prophesies. Since the long hair does not cover just for an occasion (it is not put-on-able and take-off-able for a prayer), it cannot be the covering of I Cor 11:5, so the chapter must require two different coverings.

We should comply with the teaching of I Cor 11:2-16 just like we would any other passage.

Are There Living Apostles Today?

December 12, 2015

The word “apostle” simply means “one sent forth” (Vine’s), so in that sense every Christian today is an apostle in that they are “sent forth” to teach God’s word (Rom 10:15, Acts 8:4). But the issue this article addresses centers around the special use of the word “apostle,” as in the special twelve that Jesus chose while on this earth (Mark 3:14, Acts 1:2).

Acts 1:21-22 details two qualifications a man had to meet in order to be an apostle. First, he had to be a part of Jesus’ earthly ministry “beginning from the baptism of John.” Paul was an exception to this qualification according to I Cor 15:8. Second, he had to be an eye “witness … of His resurrection” (see also I Cor 9:1).

Nobody living today meets these two requirements – not the Pope nor his Cardinals, none of the supposed Mormon “apostles” in Salt Lake City, none of all the false charismatic “apostles.” Simply put – no one today can meet these two prerequisites, therefore no person living presently is an apostle.

In addition, proving the miraculous gifts are not in operation today (see https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/the-miraculous-gifts-ceased-at-the-completion-of-the-new-testament-revelation-not-in-the-future-when-christ-comes-again ) also shows there are no apostles today because the following passages indicate being an apostle is inseparably linked to having miraculous gifts and being able to pass them on:

· II Cor 12:12 “the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in … signs, and wonders …”

Does that leave the modern day church without any apostles? Certainly not – the special twelve that Jesus chose are still our apostles, therefore there is no need for additional apostles today. Peter, Paul, James, and John, etc. are still our apostles today in the same sense as how the Jews in Jesus’ day still had “Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29), even though Moses and the prophets were already dead and gone from the earth. The original twelve apostles are still our apostles in that they still lead through their word (John 16:13) – God’s New Testament law.

The Miraculous Gifts Ceased At The Completion Of The New Testament Revelation, Not In The Future When Christ Comes Again

December 4, 2015

I Cor 13:8-13 says the miraculous gifts were to cease when “that which is perfect is come.” Context shows “that which is perfect” refers to the completed New Testament revelation, therefore the miraculous gifts stopped when the New Testament canon was completed. See these links for further explanation:

https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/miraculous-gifts-have-ceased/

https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/miracles-have-ceased/

https://bibledebates.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/i-cor-138-10-proves-the-miraculous-gifts-are-not-for-today/

Some counter by claiming “that which is perfect” refers to the second coming of Christ, but one reason that won’t work is because verse 13 contrasts the cessation of the gifts with the abiding of faith and hope. My point is this:

· The miraculous gifts were to stop sometime before the need for faith and hope was to end (I Cor 13:8-10,13).

· Jesus’ second coming will do away with the need for faith (II Cor 5:6-8, Heb 11:1) and hope (Heb 11:1, Rom 8:24). (faith goes to sight, and our hope is realized)

· Therefore the miraculous gifts were to stop before Jesus’ second coming.

Ask yourself this question: Does it really make any sense for Paul to say the miraculous gifts would stop at the second coming of Christ? Everything will stop then – that is the end of the world (II Pet 3:4,9-10).