Archive for April, 2020

I Don’t Go Along With All That My Church Does! by E.R. Hall

April 30, 2020

There are many people today who willingly and knowingly fellowship error. When their unscriptural practices are pointed out, they say, “I don’t believe everything my church teaches” or the statement in the title of this article. Are you one of those people? Are you willing to even admit that you realize that the church of which you are a member is getting farther and farther from the truth of the Bible? Many people are very uncomfortable with such things as the social, recreational, and entertainment craze that many churches are involving themselves in. But let it be understood there are many other things in addition to these.

Let me raise this question: Does recognizing and then denying wrongdoing in the church of which you are a member, free you from all responsibility in the matter? Let’s put it like this: Can a person close his eyes to error and willingly stay in a group that he knows is doing things contrary to what the Bible teaches? Are we willing to let the Bible give the answer? God says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11). “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” (Titus 1:13,14). From these verses we must conclude that one cannot continue to have fellowship with those who are believing and practicing error. Rather, he has the responsibility to reprove and warn them. Yet, if no one raises their voice to oppose, by their silence they give consent and thereby become a partaker of wrongdoing.

How can one repent of an error while at the same time be a member of a church which believes and practices error? For one to repent of error, he must completely give up that error. As long as a person is a member of a church that has error, he is associated with error and is identified with error.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:13 “..Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Those who are in a church that has error will be rooted up along with others at the last day. Those who recognize error in the churches in which they are members need to come out and be identified with the people of God.

We cannot help but believe there are those of you reading this … who do not agree with the beliefs and practices of the church of which you are a member. We must all ask ourselves the question of who are we trying to please in religion. Is it man or God? There can be the wrong motive for the religion we have. “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10). If we seek to please men, it will not matter whether we condone things that the Scriptures condemn and give our silent consent to things that God does not approve of. But if our religion is to please men, “I should not be the servant of Christ“.

Matt 27:46 – Jesus Was Spiritually Separated From God

April 23, 2020

If our sins were laid on Jesus (Isa 53:6c), we should expect the following:

· Isaiah 59:2a the Son was “separated” from the Father

· Hab 1:12-13 “O mighty God … Thou … canst not look on iniquity”

Matt 27:46 and Isaiah 53:6c fit hand in glove. Since sin is a spiritual idea not a physical object, the words of Isaiah 53:6c mean nothing (are just hollow words) unless there were some spiritual ramifications for Jesus.

R.L.Whiteside said it best when commenting on Matt 27:46 in his book Reflections – “Jesus died … as if he were a criminal. … God withdrew his presence from him in the hour of death. Hence, in full measure he took the place of the sinner.” (p.197)

I imagine this was the hardest thing Jesus ever had to endure, even above all the physical pain and torture He had to suffer on the cross. It’s the first and only time in history Jesus was forsaken by (spiritually separated from) his Father.

Conflicting Voices by E.R. Hall

April 16, 2020

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,..” (Hebrews 1:1,2). Any voice not in agreement with God’s Word is a conflicting voice. We hear a lot of voices in the religious world and they all profess to be speaking God’s Word. Yet, they conflict each other and this has lead to the different denominations that are in existence.

I have yet to meet a preacher, or hear one preach, who does not say he is preaching what the Bible says. They all claim to preach only what God would have them preach. However, when I compare what they preach with what I preach, there are clear differences. Several years ago, I attended the funeral of my aunt. The preacher made the statement several times that he only wanted to preach what God would have him to preach. Well, that’s exactly what I want to do so I expected him to preach the same things I preach. As his sermon progressed it was obvious that he and I don’t preach the same things especially when it come to what a person must do to be saved. He was telling his audience to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and I’ve never preached that. Is he preaching God’s word? If he is, then what am I preaching when I preach something different from him? Is he sincere in what he preaches? I’m sure he is but, then again, so am 1. One or the other of us is right or it could be possible that we are both wrong but we both can’t be right. If I were to ask two people what is the sum of 3,250 and 6,750 and one answered 10,000 and the other answered 100,000, could I say both were right? So, in religious matters, we are divided and yet both he and I profess to be worshiping the same God and preaching the message of God.

What is the way to solve this dilemma? Can I compare him to me? No! “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12). There has to be a higher standard by which we can measure the things being taught in the religious world. That standard of reference is to be the Word of God.

We must take God’s Word and take God at His Word. It is not for me or anyone else to interpret what God says because God means what He says. If I tell my children to go to the store for milk and bread, they do not have to interpret what I said, they must simply do what I’ve told them to do. When Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16) that is not left up to anyone’s interpretation. We must simply do what He says. Since I can no where read in the Bible that a person must accept Christ as their personal Savior, I would be conflicting with what God says to preach such a thing. When we read: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24), anyone who teaches a person is saved the moment they believe is a voice conflicting with what God has said.

In all that we hear taught, let us compare it to God’s Word and be sure we are “rightly dividing the word of truth” (l Timothy 2:15). God means what He says and says what He means. No one needs to interpret what God has said. It is when God’s Word is interpreted that all these conflicting voices can be heard.

Two Types Of New Testament References To Old Testament Texts

April 9, 2020

There are at least two types of New Testament (NT) references to Old Testament (OT) texts …

One type is like Gen 12:3b (“in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”). Such promises and prophecies about future events are intended by the OT text to be fulfilled by an event described in the NT (in this case see Acts 3:24-26).

Another type is where the OT text is not intended to refer to an NT event, but the NT writer borrows the wording from the OT in order to make his point. This is not to say that God didn’t know from the beginning these OT texts would be used in such way. Here are some classic examples of that type:

· I doubt Psalms 109 is referring the replacing of Judas as an apostle when it says “let another take his office” in verse 8, but the wording fit so well Luke’s description of the choosing of Mathias as a replacement apostle, he used the wording to make his point in Acts 1:20.

· I am thinking Hosea 11:1 was talking about Israel as a nation coming out of Egyptian slavery, but the words “Out of Egypt have I called my son” fits Jesus coming out of Egypt so well that God used the words to describe such in Matt 2:15.

· Sarah used the words “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac” to refer to Hagar and Ishmael in Gen 21:10, but Paul saw fit to use the words in Gal 4:30 to talk about the OT becoming obsolete.

We don’t study the OT law because any of it is still binding today (Heb 7:12, Gal 5:3-4), but we study it because the NT constantly refers to it – so studying the OT will help us understand (Rom 15:4) the NT, which is our law for today.

Ezekiel 18:20-24

April 2, 2020

Even though Ezekiel 18:20-24 is in the Old Testament and we are not under that law today, there are still come critical things we can learn from the text …

Verse 20 reads “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.” Can’t we learn from verse 20 that the Calvinist doctrine of Inherited Original Sin is false? The text makes it just about as clear as one can make it that infants do not inherit the sin of Adam or anyone else. “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,” so Seth didn’t inherit sin from Adam and neither did I inherit sin through my father Kenneth. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (spiritually), not someone else. Eccl 7:29 reads in the NIV – “This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.”  So an infant is not born inherited the guilty of Adam’s, and is he is not born with inherited total depravity.  This verse says mankind is created upright, completely innocent of any such.

Starting in verse 21 of Ezekiel 18 we learn repentance is necessary to be forgiven of sin. Here is that text – “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” That’s always a big little word – “if” in the Bible. The statement that if the wicked will turn from his sins he will live, implies that if he doesn’t turn from his sins, he will not live, right?

And verse 24 refutes the modern day religious notion of Once Saved Always Saved. It says “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.” We already learned that if the wicked turns from his sins he is forgiven, and verse 24 proves the reverse is also true. If a righteous man turns from his righteousness, then he will die spiritually. I didn’t write this verse; God stated it as fact.

Now, the Old Testament defined for them what wickedness and righteousness was. While the New Testament defines for us today what wickedness and righteousness is. But the facts remain that infants are not born guilty of sin (Rom 5:12b), repentance is a necessary condition of salvation (II Pet 3:9), and a Christian can fall from grace (Gal 5:4).