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.

“Calling On The Name Of The Lord” – What Does It Mean?

March 15, 2017

“Calling on the name of the Lord” was not equal to prayer in Saul’s case. Saul prayed as a believer in Acts 9:11 (“for behold he prayeth”) but he didn’t call on the name of the Lord until Acts 22:16.

“Calling on the name of the Lord” is equated with:

· repenting and being baptized for the remission of sins Acts 2:21 / 38

· being baptized Acts 22:16

· obeying the gospel Romans 10:13 / 16

Some definitions for the phrase “call on the name of”:

· call on or upon, a. to require; appeal to: They called on him to represent them – The Random House College Dictionary

· to appeal to one, make appeal unto – Thayer

God grants us salvation when we comply with such conditions as He has specified. We “call on the name of the Lord” by meeting those conditions (similar to how we make an appeal to God in I Peter 3:21 by being baptized). In meeting His conditions of salvation, we appeal to (call on) God for the salvation He has promised.

Have you “called on the name of the Lord” to be saved?

We Choose To Be Saved Or Not

March 10, 2017

The Calvinist view of predestination is that one is either of the elect or not; he has no choice. But the following passages prove we do indeed have such a choice ..

Josh 24:15 if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served … on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Psalms 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth …

Isaiah 66:4, 65:12 I also will choose their delusions, … they … did choose that wherein I delighted not. [the same word is used for God’s choice and for our choice]

Judges 5:8 They chose new gods …

The Calvinist position is that each and every person’s eternal destiny is unchangeably set. But these verses prove that for any particular person, his or her eternal destiny can go either way. It is his choice.

The Walls of Jericho by R.J. Evans

March 4, 2017

In Joshua 6:1-6, the Israelites were instructed by the Lord to march around the city of Jericho once each day for six days. The priests were told to bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark, and on the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times and when the priests blew the trumpets, all the people were to shout and the wall of the city would fall down flat. The remainder of chapter 6 tells of their obedience to God’s instructions, the wall falling, and the city being destroyed.

Marching around a city thirteen times in seven days, blowing trumpets and making a great shout — who ever heard of such a thing? The wall was of such considerable size that houses were built upon it (Josh. 2:15). How safe the inhabitants of Jericho must have felt. How easy it would have been for the soldiers and commanders on the walls to laugh and ridicule the marchers as they encompassed the city. But suddenly on the seventh day, there was an incredible event — the walls fell! (v. 20).

Now how did the walls fall? Was this some common military procedure that had been used successfully in the past? Absolutely not! “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30). Yes, it took great faith to carry out such an unusual command. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). It took faith in “things not seen” — “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

But there are skeptics who laugh and mock at the events recorded in Joshua 6. They say it is absurd to believe that the walls of Jericho fell down after the Israelites marched around them. However, let us consider the following portion of information taken from HALLEY’S BIBLE HANDBOOK, New Revised Edition, pp. 159-161: “Dr. John Garstang, director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and of the Department of Antiquities of the Palestine Government, excavated the ruins of Jericho in 1926-36. He found pottery and scarab evidence that the city had been destroyed about 1400 B.C., coinciding with Joshua’s date, and, in a number of details, dug up evidence confirming the Biblical account in a most remarkable way. ‘The wall fell down flat’ (20). Dr. Garstang found that the wall did actually ‘fall down flat.’”

There are many lessons learned from Jericho: (1) We learn that God’s ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). Man would have planned some scheme to allow a few to enter the city and open the gates or build mounds, use sling shots to pick the soldiers off the wall, use ladders, etc. (2) We learn the meaning of grace. “And the Lord said to Joshua: ‘See! I have given Jericho into you hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor’” (Josh. 6:2). Yes, it was a gift, but it involved active obedience. The same is true today — salvation is a gift from God (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8), yet there are certain conditions that must be met (Matt. 7:21; Jn. 6:29; Mk. 16:16; Lk. 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 5:9). (3) We learn the meaning of obedient faith (Heb. 11; Jas. 2:24). (4) We learn that God’s way will work no matter how foolish (in man’s eyes) it may seem (1 Cor. 1:18-31).

The Apostle Paul told the Romans that “whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). The Israelites placed their faith and trust in God when they marched around the city of Jericho. We place our faith and trust in God when we are baptized for the remission of our sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). When we faithfully obey the Lord we can hope for and enjoy the blessings and rewards He has promised (Matt. 6:33; Rev. 2:10).

Again, we emphasize — “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30).

Shooting The Messenger

February 25, 2017

I saw the following the other day on Facebook – “The only people mad at you for speaking the truth are those living a lie. Keep speaking the truth.” Unfortunately, the quote has a lot of truth to it. Gal 4:16 says pretty much the same thing as it reads “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

The messenger was literally shot in Acts 7:51-60 when Stephen was stoned for preaching the truth. Many Christians react in a similar way today. Instead of appreciating being warned about their sin and false doctrine (Ezek 3:18), they “heap to themselves teachers” (II Tim 4:3) that limit their preaching to what their audiences already agree with. My observations tell me preaching to the choir is at an all time high among Christians; it is much more common these days than preaching “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

Of course gospel preachers should speak the truth “in love” (Eph 4:15), but the issue here is our attitude toward truth; do we really want to hear truths that would demand changes in our belief and practice (Matt 13:15)?

The Purpose Of Bible Miracles

February 17, 2017

Of course Jesus healed the sick and the hurt because He had compassion on them (Matt 20:34, Matt 14:14, etc.), but the overriding purpose for miracles was to confirm that the healer was from God and was speaking the truth. The following passages illustrate such …

I King 17:24 (after the Zarephath widow’s son was resurrected via Elijah’s request of God) “And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.”

John 3:2 “The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

Mark 16:20 “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

Hebrews 2:3-4 “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; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

Matthew 9:6 “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.”

Acts 14:3 “Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (NKJV)

However I think it is a false argument for the truth to say the purposes for miracles have ceased, therefore miracles have ceased – because some of the purposes for miracles have not ceased, namely Jesus healed people out of compassion, that is, so the person would be well again. As long as we have physical sickness in the world, there would be a need for miracles. The argument that should be used is that miracles have ceased because the Bible teaches they would cease at the completion of the New Testament (I Cor 13:8-13), during the time period of the first coming of Christ (Zech 13:4).

Could Jesus Have Sinned? – Acts 2:23

February 10, 2017

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to sin. Their argument goes something like this: It was prophesied that Jesus would die for the world. Jesus could not die for the world unless He lived sinless. Therefore it was impossible for Jesus to sin else the prophecy would not have been fulfilled.

This argument ignores the difference in foreknowledge and predestination. I knew every day when I got home from work that my seven year old son Wesley was going to ask me to play ping pong, but I didn’t force that; he had a free will choice in the matter. Likewise, the Father absolutely foreknew (with 100% certainty) that Jesus was not going to sin (even though Jesus had free will in the matter), and the Father used that foreknowledge as an essential element in His plan to save the world.

This is similar to Jesus knowing ahead of time that Judas would be the betrayer (John 13:21,26, Matt 26:21,25), but that doesn’t mean God forced Judas to betray Jesus, that Judas didn’t have a free will choice in the matter. Likewise, Jesus “prophesied” that Peter would deny him three times (Matt 26:34), but this doesn’t mean Peter was forced to betray Jesus in order to fulfill that prophecy, does it?

God’s plan to save the world included predestination and foreknowledge according to Acts 2:23 – “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Jesus avoided all sin, not because He had to, but because He chose to. What a great accomplishment! What a benefit to us!