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Copyright © 2017 Carrick on Shannon church of Christ - Overture and Doctrinal
My name is James Daniel. I'm an evangelist, preacher, Bible teacher, public debater (scriptural), and long-time student of the King James Bible. My hope is that this simple expository will help in introducing the following dissertation which is composed of several studies on the fundamentals of understanding Bible doctrine. Besides that, teaching men the word of God is a matter of utmost importance, even to the saving of the soul. Mind you, there is the limitation of accountability to consider - James 3:11. My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.. That means, the man of God will preach after God, unless he too shall forsake the first principals of what it means to preach the word - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen., 2 Timothy 4:22. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.. You see, very few nowadays possess a proper understanding of what the Bible teaches, let alone, the value of their own soul. With so many churches emerging out of nowhere (without scriptural authority), and wannabe preachers all professing the name of Christ and claiming to teach the way of salvation, and what have you? No wonder there's so much confusion. I've no doubt that even the confused are confused. Yet the Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion - 1 Corinthians 14:3333. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.. After all, the Bible only teaches one church, inasmuch as it teaches one faith, one baptism, one Christ, and one God - Ephesians 4:4-64. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.. With that in mind, I pray you, inasmuch as it is possible, to approach the following lessons with an open mind, and a willingness to learn of those things that can save your soul - James 1:2121. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.. Solomon well said, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." - Proverbs 12:1515. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise., cf. 18:1313. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him..
THE CHURCH AND THE DOCTRINE
Now before we go any further, I want to draw your attention to the biblical terms "church" and "churches of Christ." Allow me to simply explain how the Bible uses the term church, and therefore, how we are to use it. When it comes to answering this, we need to start with a generic first, and then a Bible specific. For example, in Mattew 7:2121. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven., we read the words of Christ, wherein, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (which is the church - 1 Corinthians 15:2424. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power., cf. Matthew 3:22. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand., Luke 17:2121.Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. ); but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." That said, the primary concern in conveying the correct meaning of the terminology, is that, most people are so accustomed to denominationalism (which is the practice of teaching contrary to one another and the Bible), that when they hear the phraseology "church of Christ," they think of it as just another denomination. Therefore, for us to gain a better understanding of what the scriptures teach, we must look to what the Bible says, rather than what men think. Paul said that Christ is the head of the church and the saviour of the body - Ephesians 5:2323. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.. Now notice the noun "body" in verse 23. The definition of body refers to the structure of something, such as, the composition of a man (his physical body), or a car (a material body). In other words, a body has many parts that function as one. Allow me to illustrate. If someone steps on your toe, well, the rest of your body will feel it. The church also has many parts, for example, is made up of both men and women with gender specific roles - 1 Timothy 2:1212. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence., cf. 1 Corinthians 14:3434. 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., Titus 2:3-53. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed., one doctrine (or teaching) - 1 Timothy 6:3-53. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself., cf. 1 Timothy 4:1616. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee., 2 John 10-1110. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds., and ultimately, with one mind and one mouth are to glorify God - Romans 15:66. That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.. In New Testament terminology, the body usually refers to the church, bar the odd exception. As Paul said, Christ is the saviour of the body. The terms "church and body" are interchangeable, which means, they are essentially the same thing - Colossians 1:2424. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:. Both terms refer to a number of people, and might I add, from all walks of life. It makes no difference to God what colour your skin is, for God is no respector of persons (does not show favouritism) - Acts 10:3434. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:. More importantly, the church are a sanctified people - Hebrews 2:11-1211. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee., and numbered with those that have obeyed the gospel call to repentance and water baptism - Acts 2:3838. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.. Now to sanctify something is to set it apart or declare it as holy. Mind you, the Lord is the only one who does the adding to that number, so there's no way around it only to do what the Lord has said to do. After all, it's the Lord's word that's going to judge us in the last day - John 12:4848. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day..
In fact, it's impossible for any man to be saved outside of the church of Christ because the church which is of Christ is where the Lord adds those that should be saved - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Many a time I've crossed paths with religious disputants who try to argue that one can be saved in any church as long as he is faithful. Yet the underlying and first in order of imporatance is what does the Bible teach? - Ephesians 4:4-64. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.. The Bible refers to the church as the churches of Christ - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. because the command is to go into all the world - Mark 16:1515. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature., therefore, the church is spread out. Now that's not saying that every church that calls itself a church of Christ is a church of Christ. Indeed it's well known that several Pentecostal churches refer to themselves as churches of Christ, or churches of God. All it serves is to cause more confusion, and if anything, hinders the gospel. You see, the whole concept of denominations is divisive, and nothing more than a means of promoting other systems of belief, and indeed the foolishness of personal beliefs. The inspired text mentions no such thing as a church derived from the minds of men, nor indeed, the choosing of men. On the contrary, the New Testament church had its origins from the mind of God - Ephesians 1:4-64. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.. Let's draw our attention to the terms "in him, predestinated, and in the beloved" mentioned in verses 4-6. It's important for us to understand those terms. In him, refers to, in Christ. So how do we get in Christ? Well, the same way we get in the beloved, which is, to obey the gospel of the beloved Son of God - Matthew 3:1717. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.. That brings us to the word predestinate. The past participle predestinate means, to foreordain, predetermine, or preelect something. Past participles show something that started in the past, and continue until now. In God's case, predestination was determined upon foreknowledge. Now that in no way suggests that God is a respector of persons - Acts 10:3434. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:; but rather the contrary. God has determined that all who believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ to predestination, inasmuch, as God would to have all men saved - 1 Timothy 2:44. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.. This is proven when men obey the gospel. The gospel is the determining factor. It's how men handle the gospel that will determine the outcome. Yet the reality is that only few will be saved. Now why is that? Well the obvious answer is that very few will even listen to the gospel, let alone, obey it. In fact, the foolish things of this world are more important to some, than to hear the gospel which is able to save their soul. Mind you, some don't even believe they have a soul. They will one day though. Now I often wondered why men refuse the gospel. The only answer I could find was that evil is always present - Romans 7:2121. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.. Evil is synonymous with sin, inasmuch, as sin is synonymous with evil. Jesus said, "It's what comes out of a man that defiles him." - Mark 7:1515. There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.. In other words, the thoughts and intents of the heart - Hebrews 4:1212. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.. You know, God is going to hold each and every one of us to account for our sin - 2 Corinthians 5:1010. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.. There's no way to escape the consequences of our sin except we repent - Luke 13:33. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish., cf. Hebrews 2:33. 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;. All sin is against God, because God is the first to witness our sin - Hebrews 4:1313. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.. Paul said, "All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light." - Ephesians 5:1313. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.. You see, when sin is brought to light, the majority would rather ignore any kind of admonishing than to acknowledge wrong doing. Such a characteristic is common to mankind. Just because the majority have a tendency to deviate from responsibility doesn't make it right. We read in Exodus 23:22. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:, not to follow the multitude to do evil. Very few man up to wrongdoing nowadays. That speaks for itself. Paul said, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby - Hebrews 12:1111. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.. In fact, every man is right in his own eyes according to the proverb - Proverbs 21:22. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.. Indeed the Holy Spirit spake by the mouth of Paul, in that, blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin - Romans 4:88. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.. When men obey the gospel (as they ought), and their trespass has been forgiven; then the Lord will add them to the number of the saved (who are the sanctified), which is the church. They are the same that hear the word of God, and keep it - Luke 11:2828. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.. My friend, there's no two ways about it.
Now the Bible has a lot to say with regards to what the church is, and who the church are. Moreover, there's no denying the fact that the church of Christ is of Christ, hence the preposition of, or in other words, from Christ. Yet the God haters and religionists would have us to believe something else, that is, if we didn't have God's word to prove otherwise - 1 Thessalonians 5:2121. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.. When men teach that God can be found in nature, any religion, or any church; then you know they teach of themselves and not of God. You know, God commanded Moses to write in a book for a record - Exodus 17:1414. And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven., inasmuch as, Paul's writing to the church at Rome is also for a record, and our learning - Romans 15:44. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.. A record is something that is set down in writing or some other permanent form for later reference. A record is a proof of something said. This is how the record of the system of salvation is preserved through the generations. We have the record of the Bible which contains the things that pertain unto God, for us to touch on. It's such a pity that the vast majority who claim to be Christian fail to acknowledge this fundamental truth. Moreover, it's now a matter of proving what is acceptable unto the Lord - Ephesians 5:1010. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.. Now as touching what Paul said earlier; we read in Ephesians 4:44. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;, that there is only one body. That's the same as saying there's only one church. You know, things which equal the same thing also equal one another. Church or body, either way, are the same thing. Denominations don't even come close. The very existence of denominations suggests that Christ has more than one body. Such a notion contradicts scripture in every way. The church of Christ and denominations have always been mutually exclusive, in that, they are not the same thing. In fact, they are polar opposite in everything that pertains to the Godhead. Moreover, the so called Christian church and religious Christendom in general, are so far removed from what the Bible teaches; that they serve another purpose, and of a measure impossible to satiate, wherein, they lead the multitudes on their merry way to hell - Matthew 15:1414. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.. You see, from Roman Catholicism and her sectarian progenies, with the likes of Protestantism, the Baptist church and her own begats, Methodism and the Pentecostal churches; are all collectively in opposition to the will of God with their edicts and cleverely devised religious strategems. Yet not one of them can account for even one saved soul. Why? Because none of them are of God. They all serve their own daddy, the Devil, and not the God of heaven. Nor do they honour the begotten of God who is the Son of God. My friend, the math is not difficult. Just open the Bible and see it for yourself. It's also interesting to note, that if the Bible didn't exist; neither would Islam, nor any of the multitudes of denominations we have today. I guess that's a subject matter for another lesson. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof - Matthew 6:3434. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
WHAT IS AN EVANGELIST?
So what is an evangelist? Well, an evangelist is a gospel preacher, and/or a public teacher of the scriptures. An evangelist is a God appointed office in the masculine, that is, to be occupied by men only. Mind you, not all men, and that speaks for itself - Ephesians 4:11-1211. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:. I've no doubt the finger of misogyny will brandish a boisterous venting of disapproval, in that, I speak as the oracles of God in matters that pertain to God - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. But what of that? Inadvertent offence is unavoidable when teaching the truth - James 3:22. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body., John 17:1717. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.. You see, the fact is, not all women are willing to comply with "...thus saith the Lord." I always thought that God had the final say in matters that pertain to salvation and the church?
An evangelist is someone who imparts a particular knowledge, and in my case, that of the Bible. The subject of women preaching is verboten because thus saith the Lord - 1 Corinthians 14:3434. 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., 1 Timothy 2:1212. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.. I've heard several preachers claim that Paul's words were only cultural; but I disagree, and for very good reason. Remember what Paul said in - Galatians 1:1212. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.? "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." What Paul said came from heaven. The revelation of Jesus Christ came from God - John 7:1616. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.. The Bible teaches that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost - 2 Peter 1:2121. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.. There's nothing in the Bible that God hasn't put in the Bible. To claim otherwise is to challenge God's providential oversight, not to mention, his authority.
DOES GOD ALLOW WOMEN TO PREACH?
As the saying goes, "Wag the dog." Whatever way you choose to look at it, the notion of women preaching has it's roots in the ancient nemesis of rebellion - 1 Samuel 15:2323. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king., or as the modern connotation would have it, feminism. Feminism is women trying to be like men. Now it goes without saying that such a movement is evil, in, and of itself, that nothing good will ever come of it. That said, it still remains that the pen is mightier than the sword. Knowing right well that the record testifies to the will of God. In a rhetorical sense, the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men - 1 Corinthians 1:2525. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.. My friend, rebellion in any of it's forms is to be found fighting against God - Acts 5:3939. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God..
Any God fearing woman will know what the Bible teaches concerning her role as a Christian, and a woman. The reality is that virtuous women are few and far between, and that's all down to what's being taught - Proverbs 31:1010. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.. The human condition is not precocial, but rather altricial, or in other words, having to be taught. That said, the same could be said of morality. The current generation is a testimony to that. Needless to say that the flesh is rebellious by nature. Who can dispute that? - Romans 8:77. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.. We all come short of the glory of God - Romans 3:2323. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;. Yet to rebel is to go further than coming short. To rebel is to refuse. Now I'm not here to foster political correctness as some of you know well, but rather, to teach that which is able to save your soul - James 1:2121. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls., cf. 1 Timothy 4:1616. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.. To be God correct is what matters.
Work in progress....
HOW MANY GOSPELS ARE THERE?
The amount of misinformation over how many gospels there are only proves the amount of ignorance that exists amongst those who profess to be Christian. What's more, the amount of men who criticize the King James Bible is unnaturally profuse to say the least. I recently heard a preacher remark on the writers of the King James Bible as being uninspired because of what he determined as incorrect regarding the title headings on each of the gospel accounts. He insinuated that the King James translators should not have titled the gospels in the manner they did because it promoted the idea of more than one gospel. However, my King James reads, "the gospel according to..." This is absolutely correct. Each of those men who penned the gospel accounts did so according to how they were inspired to do so.
Work in progress....
IS THE RELIGION OF CHRIST AN IDEOLOGY?
Well, an ideology is something that is taught and believed, such as morals, doctrine, faith, and beliefs. In other words, a set of beliefs. An ideology is usually something that men want to believe, rather than, what they need to believe. Truth, and a form of truth, are two different things. Now the Bible is clear, in that, there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God - Romans 3:1111. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.. When critics refer to an "ideology" they usually do so in a deprecate way, and with a negative connotation to boot. For example, in 1978, the ideology of Jim Jones and the "People's Temple" resulted in the mass suicide of 918 souls. Ideology means, "science of ideas." The English word comes from the French idéologie, which was coined by the French philosopher Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836). In saying that, religious Christendom (or denominations) were set about on the premise of religious ideology rather than truth. The Bible says, the truth shall make us free - John 8:3232. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.. Worse still, personal beliefs can predicate ideologies with devastating effects. The thief comes to steal, not to sow - John 10:1010. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.. On the other hand, collective ideologies, such as, what we observe in the church of scientology, procure their beliefs through a systematic and forcible means. Roman Catholicism predicated their own respective ideology along the same lines. Mind you, the Bible and the ideologies of men are antagonistic toward each other, because the one is of man - 1 Corinthians 3:1919. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness., and the other is of God - John 7:1616. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me..
As for the critics and the nay sayers, well, their going to babble on regardless of who says what. Yet there's a lot of what to be said. You see, any religion that claims to be Christian and contradicts the Bible is not of God. For as the Spirit spake in times past, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." - Romans 3:44. God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.. Moreover, the church has no say in matters that pertain to the Godhead. However, from time to time there are those who attempt to overthrow the scriptures for any reason that might give them an opportunity. They attempt to diagnosticate the doctrine of Jesus Christ as an ideology, such as, comparing things to the limitations of sinful man. However, they forget one thing, that the teaching came from heaven and not from man - John 6:3838. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me., cf. John 7:1616. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me., and John 3:1313. And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.. The doctrine of scripture had it's origins in the counsels of heaven. Isaiah well said concerning God - Isaiah 55:99. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts., "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." The New Testament is not an ideology, but a plea for righteousness sake. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God - 1 Corinthians 6:9-109. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.. Since ideology is classified as "the science of ideas," well, you've got to ask, whose ideas is the science thereof? Science has it's limitations within the physical and observable. The spiritual goes way beyond what science is capable of understanding. For instance, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." - Hebrews 11:33. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear..
Work in progress....
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF THE GODHEAD
As touching the first person of the Godhead, God the Father (absolute, all knowing, all powerful, almighty, Creator), whose name alone is Jehovah - Psalm 83:1818. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth. (masculine gender). The second person of the Godhead, God the Son, Jesus - Matthew 1:2121. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Saviour, Christ, Shepherd, Lord), and without (him) was not any thing made that was made - John 1:33. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (masculine gender). The third person of the Godhead, emphasis (He) the Spirit of truth - John 16:1313. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come., Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Spirit of God - Genesis 1:22. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.. However, there are certain individuals who claim that the Holy Spirit is not a person, let alone, the third person of the Godhead, but rather, some kind of force or power to be reckoned with. The problem with that is when we read - Acts 20:2828. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood., where the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers. If the Holy Spirit is a non-person, or innominate; then who appointed the overseers in verse 28? John spake concerning the Spirit, in that, (he) shall not speak of (himself) - again John 16:1313. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.. The pronouns he, himself, and him, are all (masculine gender), and indeed pertinent to our understanding of the masculinity of the Godhead. Men need to understand the concept of the Godhead, in that, it's characterized by three individual persons (all masculine gender) and all possessing the same, or one nature of the Godhead. It's also worth noting, that none of the Godhead are created beings. Paul spake concerning Christ in this manner - Hebrews 7:33. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually., cf. Daniel 7:2222. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.. We also read of the three who bear record in heaven, the Father (God - 1 Corinthians 8:66. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him., 1 Timothy 2:55. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;), the Word (Jesus Christ) - John 1:1414. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth., John 1:11. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God., and the Holy Ghost (third person of the Godhead) - Acts 5:3-43. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.. These three are one, as in, (the Godhead) - 1 John 5:77. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one..
When Jesus Christ (the second person of the Godhead) pitched his tent among men, as in, dwelt amongst us - John 1:1414. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth., it was said, that in him dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily - Colossians 2:99. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.. Now given that the Godhead share the same nature; then the man Christ Jesus was a representation of a part for the whole, and a whole for the part, or in other words, a synecdoche, so to speak - 1 Timothy 2:55. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;, cf. John 14:99. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?, Philippians 2:66. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:. The word "synecdoche," or figure of speeck; is a Late Middle English word, having it's origins via Latin from Greek, just so you know. Such figure of speech helps us to better understand the composition of the Godhead. I've heard ignorant men laugh at the notion of the three god's of the Christian faith, as they interpret it; but this is not the case. Such a notion fails to acknowledge the nature of the Godhead, whilst at the same time, is minded only of the three persons of the Godhead, rather than the Godhead as a whole. Such is to foster assumptions, rather than, procuring a proper understanding - Hosea 4:66. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.. In other words, plain old ignorance.
Men often choose to believe a lie because it may well appeal to what they want to believe. Mind you, a lie repeated often enough can be accepted as truth. Oddly enough, and for the most part, those who claim to be Christian fall well short in their uncerstanding of God, and the Godhead. The imbalance that exists in understanding the nature of the Godhead has a lot to do with a lack of proper teaching, hence, a shortage of God fearing men - Proverbs 1:77. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction., Proverbs 9:1010. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.. Now whether men fear God or not won't change anything in terms of God having the final say; but it does have a lot to do with the sort of teaching that's impacting the brotherhood. Where better to start than at the top.
Work in progress....
WHO GOVERNS THE CHURCH?
When we disobey God's word, we are essentially refusing to acknowledge the authority of God's word, and therefore sin against the word of God. What's more, to sin against God's word is counted as transgression. To transgress something is to violate, or go beyond. In other words, to disobey. That said, there must be law for one to be counted as a transgressor. How can one be a transgressor if there's nothing to transgress? Paul said, sin is not imputed when there is no law - Romans 5:1313. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.. The same applies to the law of Christ - Galatians 6:22. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.. As I said before, law is a system of rule that governs our conduct. Just read the New Testament and see how many conditions you find. Actually, there are over 600 individual commands in the New Testament. Now if that's not law, then what is? James, the brother of Jesus in the flesh, said, Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves - James 1:2222. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.. To be doers of something demands the instructing of something, such as, an order given by one in authority. Law is made up of instructions (governing authority). Needless to say, that law is administered by means of authority. As for the Christian and the church, they are subject to Christ in all things by the authority of God. That's why scripture often refers to itself as the word of God. This effectively accentuates whose authority we are dealing with in the first place. God's authority. Not the authority of men. In saying that, the Bible teaches that sin is a transgression of the law of God. You see, when God says to do something, therein, is the explicit. An explicit is something that is stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt. An explicit can either be positive or negative. For example, thou shalt not do wrong, or thou shalt do what is right. An explicit can also take the form of a condition. A condition is something that limits or restricts something else; a qualification: you may enter only under certain conditions. Either way, law determines an outcome, inasmuch, as authority determines law. Did you know that there was 613 individual laws under the law of Moses? Well, as I said before, the law of Christ has well over 600 individual commandments. Paul calls them the law of Christ. Remember the words of Jesus, when he said, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" In John 12:4848. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day., we read that God's word will be the measure of judgement in the last day. In other words, the contents of the New Testament is going to be the measure by which we will be judged. You see, too many so called Christians, nowadays, go about as if there's no such thing as rule and authority, let alone, Bible authority. Men like that don't need the Bible. They're a law unto themselves. Nevertheless, the sum total is accountability for each and every one of us. There is nothing that is hidden from the watcher of mankind. All things are open and naked before him with whom we have to do. And as Moses once said, "Be sure your sin will find you out.
For reference: 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law., 1 Timothy 2:1212. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence., cf. 1 Corinthians 14:3434. 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., Luke 6:4646. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?, Numbers 32:2323. But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out., and Galatians 6:22. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ..
Post: Novemenber 2017 - A brief synopsis to further study already available.
Well, before we go any further, I want to interject with the affirmation of this being one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Moreover, it's justifiably reasonable that I mention that not all teaching is correct teaching, and with all due respect, that is, in the sight of the Lord God from whence it came. Paul also delcared this in saying - Galatians 1:1212. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ., "I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Now in saying that, man must also understand that salvation is conditional, always was, and always will be - Luke 6:4646. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?.
We live in a world that condones the murder of unborn children, Abortion - Proverbs 6:16-1716. These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,, Homosexuality - Leviticus 18:2222. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination., cf. Romans 1:26-2726. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet., Feminism (or the anti-male movement) - Proverbs 31:33. Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings., cf. Isaiah 3:1212. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths., Genesis 3:1616. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee., 1 Timothy 2:1212. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence., 1 Corinthians 14:3434. 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., Fornication, which is sexual relations outside of the God ordained marriage (hetrosexual) - 1 Corinthians 6:1818. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body., Adultery, which is a violation of the marriage covenant (contract) - Hebrews 13:44. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge., Luke 16:1818. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery., Divorce (for any reason other than marital unfaithfulness) - Matthew 19:3-93. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery., and so on. We now live in a society where dignity has been removed from our culture. Women for the most part are the worst offenders. With such a deviation from morality in tow, there is now even greater need for the gospel to be taught, that is, the gospel which pertains unto the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ - Romans 3:22-2622. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.. What's more, with the onslaught of psuedo-science and humanism, which is in one sense, fitted to the gullible and unsuspecting, those who are taught what to think, rather than, how to think; then is it any wonder that the sacred knowledge delivered us from heaven has been driven to the wayside? You know, Hosea spake concerning such things - Hosea 4:66. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.. My friend, it's said that wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding - Proverbs 4:77. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding..
Updating currently in progress....
Post: June 2017 - A brief synopsis to further study already available.
Now there are those that assume that all of the Old Testament was law, and that all of the New Testament is grace. Their claim, is that, law and grace are mutually exclusive; but that's not what the Bible teaches. Therefore, we need to establish the law that Paul was referring to, not to mention, the works of faith, by which, the law of grace has determined that we should walk therein. We need to ask the question, what law was Paul referring to, when he said, "I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man? Now Paul said it was law in - 1 Corinthians 14:3434. 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.. Therefore, we need to determine what law? Was it the law of Moses? or a cultural law? or a law specific to the Christian dispensation? For us to appreciate a better understanding, we need to learn the terminology of the dispensations; including the laws specific to those periods of time. A dispensation is what is termed as a period of time and law. The Bible has been divided into three of those periods of time, known as, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the Christian (church, or last days). With regards to Paul's admonishing to the church at Corinth, and to Timothy, our answer is found in - Galatians 6:22. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.. We also need to learn, that God is the one who gave the law in each of those dispensational periods. The Bible does teach that God is the one lawgiver - James 4:12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?. Indeed, for us to better understand the terminology of the dispensations of Biblical history; we need go back to the origins of mankind, to Adam and Eve, and the Patriarchal dispensation which spanned from Genesis to the giving of the law of Moses.
The Patriarchal system, was a social and religious system, governed by men, such as, in the time of Abraham. This period of the history of mankind continued through until the Mosaic dispensation (as in, the giving of the law of Moses on Mt. Sinai in Arabia) - Galatians 4:2525. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.. The law of Moses was binding upon Jews only. It was not given to Gentiles, inasmuch, as all non-Jews are Gentiles. Its also noteworthy to meniton, that the Jewish nation of ancient Israel was governed under a theocratic system. Theocratic means, God dealing directly in the affairs of men, as in, Moses receiving the ten commandment on Mt.Sinai. Now as far as law goes, the three dispensations now culminate with the Christian, or church dispensation, which we live in. This clearly shows us that the law of Moses is no longer in effect. In fact, no one is subject to the law of Moses since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ - Colossians 2:1414. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;. That puts an end to, or decimates, the doctrine of Sabbath keeping in the current dispensation. Man is now accountable to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if obeyed; binds him to the law of Christ, that is, until he dies. Salvation was always conditional, inasmuch, as obedience is conditional. Therefore, law is conditional. For example, the "ifs" which are punctuated throughout the New Testament represent condition. The conjunctive "if" introduces a conditional clause. As the Lord once said, "Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee..." You can read that in Deuteronomy 12:2828. Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.. I don't think anything has changed in that regard. You see, all authority (as in power), belongs to Christ - Matthew 28:1818. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.. The church, who are the saved (people); are subject to Jesus Christ in all things. The church, in, and of itself, is not the authority, nor does it have the authority to make itself authority. Now that's not to say that God has not placed certain men in positions of authority, namely, that of oversight - again Ephesians 4:11-1211. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:. For example, elders (plurally speaking), have the responsibility of the oversight of God's heritage, which is the church - 1 Peter 5:1-31. The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3. Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.. They administer God's authority by reason of the scriptures. The same goes for a preacher. He preaches by the authority of God's word - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. You see, no man hath authority at any time over things that pertain to the Godhead, and that includes the church.
For us to fully appreciate what the sacred texts teach with regards to works of faith, opposed to our own works; we need to determine what is meant by works. For example, personal works, are those kind of works that we decide of our own volition, and free will. However, there is another kind of works that all of us are answerable in terms of accountability to God. James, the brother of Jesus (in terms of the flesh), said, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only - James 2:20-22, 2420. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only..
To better define the works of faith, we look no further than to the Bible for our answer. Jesus said, that faith (as in, belief) was a work of God - John 6:2929. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.. That means, God has determined that even belief itself is a work. The opposite of course, would be, to not believe, which is a work of unbelief, as in, a work of unrighteousness. Either way, they are works. What's more, Paul said, "...without faith it is impossible to please him (God)." Read - Hebrews 11:66. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. A work of belief, which is faith, requires, that we use our inherent mental faculties. God has given us the power of will, or volition, that is, to choose at liberty, that thing of our choosing. Now depending on the choices we make, in one way or another, they will determine an outcome. You can read that in - Galatians 6:77. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.. You see, with freedom of choice comes responsibility, and accountability. Without freedom of choice is the antithesis of faith, inasmuch, as unbelief is the antithesis of faith. All unrighteousness is sin - 1 John 5:1717. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.. Unrighteousness means, not right. Wrong choices are never right, are they? Well, we can make them right by repenting of them. Now a change of heart doesn't always mean a change of circumstances. Sometimes we have to bear the burden of wrong choices in this life. That's just a fact of life, and the Bible tells it no different.
You know, Paul said, that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God - Romans 10:1717. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.. So what does that mean? Well, where else do we learn what to believe; but in the inspired and sacred texts of the Bible. Therefore, both to learn, and to believe, are works of faith. How can one believe, unless he learns what to believe? That's why we have the Bible. Where's the difficulty in that? God has graciously given us the Bible, which contains the written record of his word. We can be thankful that we don't have to rely on earthen vessels nowadays, and especially so, given all the false teaching that's circulating the ranks of so called Christendom. Christendom is what religious Christianity (not Biblical Christianity) terms, as the worldwide body or society of Christians. Now it's one thing to call yourself a Christian, and another thing to be a Christian, which we will go into more detail in another lesson.
So what is meant by "the church of Christ?" Well, the church of Christ is a biblical term found primarily in - Romans 16:16Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. The statement itself denotes ownership. When something is of someone; it implies that it came from someone, or had its origins with someone, as in, a founder, or an originator. The church of Christ was found (or established) by Christ the Son of God. This is one of the many absolutes that seperate the church of Christ from all other churches. Christ is also the preeminent in every part of that which he founded - Colossians 1:18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.. That means, Christ has first place in everything that involves the church, and the Christian's personal life; hence the term "Chrisitan," which means, follower of Christ, or Christlike. That's a far cry from the likes of Roman Catholicism, and the head of their church at Rome. Utterly unlike the church of Christ; the Catholic church have to replace their head, the Pope (a mortal man), every time one dies. Paul said, that the head of the church of Christ lives forever - Hebrews 7:25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.. In saying that, the Catholic Pope assumes the place of Christ in their church. The thing is, he's not Christ, nor is the Catholic church of Christ in its present state. This should serve to warn us about blasphemy, and the consequences of apostasy. Now I'd encourage you to read what the Bible has to say about those things before you speak ought against those that testify according to the truth. If more people would read the Bible for themselves; they might well have less to say. Moreover, what the Bible teaches came from the Holy Spirit. To speak against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy - Mark 3:2929. But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.. All churches outside the Lord's church are found on the precepts of men. Teaching for doctrines the things that do not save. You see, substituting any part of the inspired doctrine is blasphemous. That will guarantee your place in hell, that is, if you continue in that thing which is contrary to what God said. God has only to say something once for it to be conditional. False teachers, as in the baser sort, have their foundation established on every wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:1414. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;. They deny the truth by means of pseudo-reasoning, and hollow arguments. They deny that salvation by grace is conditional. Anyone that can do that can do anything. They only hear what they have to say, and everything else is cast asunder. Now despite their dubious claims; is that the church of the Bible exists by virtue of the faith of Christ. The faith of Christ is the faith that saves. James the brother of Jesus said, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Read James 1:2222. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves..
Furthermore, the church that the Bible teaches is of the seed of the word of God - Luke 8:11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.. Like any seed; when it is planted, it will either grow, and produce what was intended, or it will die. Therefore, and in like manner; what the Bible teaches, and men put into practice, will produce what God intended. However, if the seed of the word of God fails to take root in the hearts of men; then it won't produce what God intended. It will produce something; but not the church that God intended. In other words, all other churches that claim to be Christian are of the seeds of the words of men. This is proven in the fact that they exist at all. To simplify this, is when men follow the teachings of men; it produces what the teachings of men intend. Have you not read - 1 Corinthians 2:1616. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.? My friend, there is no alternative to the church of Christ, that is, if you want to be numbered amongst the saved. Moreover, the scriptures declare that the record of the faithful is kept in heaven - Revelation 20:15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.. Who can change that?
What is meant by faith, or more importantly, a saving faith? Let's look at this another way. There are many faiths (or beliefs); but only one saving faith. Now that saying doesn't rest well with everyone; but what of that? The Bible teaches no such thing as multiple faiths concerning the salvation that is found in Christ. Let's take Roman Catholicism for example. They claim to be Christian, yet what teach is so far removed from the teachings of Christ, one can only wonder at the apparent disparency that exists between the Catholic "catechism" and the gospel. Now you have to wonder who does the saving according to the Catholic church? As we mentioned earlier, they claim that some will be saved by virtue of purgatory. The thing is, the Holy Spirit never mentioned that in the Bible. But if he did, there would then exist a contradiction in the system of salvation. That in itself would be a fatal flaw in terms of biblical inerrancy, that is, if it was true. Thank God it's not. You see, the Bible teaches that salvation is found in no other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved - Acts 4:1212. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.. Yet Catholicism teaches multiple ways to heaven, which contradicts the Lord who is in heaven. The methodology of the Roman Catholic church was always to keep men ignortant of salvation. Now someone says, your just trying to destroy the Catholic religion, and force your beliefs on others. In part that answer is true, in that, Roman Catholics claim to be Christian when nothing is further from the truth. However, when it comes to accusations of forcing one's beliefs on others; then the accusation deserves to be answered. Peter, who the Catholic church claim to be their first pope, said in 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen., "...that if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." So where do we find the oracles of God, but in the Bible of course. Why then does the Catholic church claim to be Christian and not teach the Bible? The answer is simple. The motives of Roman Catholicism do not involve Christ, nor the salvation of the souls of men; but rather, the interdependency of power, prestige, and wealth. Mind you, they've done a good job in accomplishing that thing, and no wonder, when most of their infrastructure was built on the backs of the poor. Now when I say poor, I'm referring to both instances, namely, physical hardship and spiritual deprivation.
You'll find no such thing as a saving faith in any of the religions of men. The Bible teaches that there is one faith, inasmuch, as there is one God - Ephesians 4:4-64. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.. If you believe the Bible is the word of God; then you must believe what the Bible teaches is the word of God. God gave us the Bible for a reason. You see, men have the freedom of volition above all of God's creation. Therefore, man is accountable for how he administers the word of God. Now the term Bible means books, and number a total of 66. There are 39 books in the Old Testament (from the Jewish Torah - law, prophets, and writings), and 27 books in the New Testament. The first four books of the New Testament are the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They all declare one gospel; but obviously to different groups of people. The gospel of Matthew was for the Jews, whilst Mark was written to the Romans. Luke obviously wrote to the Greeks, whereas, John's account acts as a supplement to the others. You also have to wonder at the chronological order of the gospels, as to whether God had a hand in that too. John said, for salvation is of the Jews - John 4:2222. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.. No doubt Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience being the first of the four accounts of the gospel, and confirmed by John, when he said, "...for salvation is of the Jews." When you hear men babbling on about four gospels, what you are really hearing is their ignorance of the scriptures. There is one gospel, one Jesus, one Holy Spirit, one Father, one baptism, one faith, one church, inasmuch as there is one God, and so on.
Now unfaithfulness (or to be unfaithful), is what we observe amongst those that keepeth not the commandments of God - 1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.. Also read - Romans 2:8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,. In other words: If you are a member of any other church, save the church of Christ; then you are no better off than if you were an unbeliever. Now you have to wonder, when you hear someone trying to water down scripture in an attempt to justify their sin, or the sins of others. Sin is sin, and nothing will ever change that. I heard a woman, who was a baptist, say, in defense of a friend who supposedly had homosexual tendencies; that just because the Bible mentions it, doesn't give people the right to condemn it. Well, it goes to show how wilfully ignorant some people are with regards to God's condemnation of sin. As for the woman from the Baptist church; she was either blindsighted to the fact of what she had just said, or she just didn't give two hoots about who she was contradicting. Either way, it is woe unto her. If the Creator says something is sinful, well, that settles the matter! When a man is not in Christ; such things carry little weight with regards to the authority of scripture. Anything goes, and usually does. Out with the Spirit, and in with the Devil. I've seen this happen too many times; even to some of our own brethren. Remember what Paul said about examining ourselves, whether we are in the faith - 2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates??
If where you supposedly go to worship involves the use of musical instruments, first century gifts of the Spirit, such as, speaking in tongues, or pastorial oversight in the form of one man, or even a woman, presiding over a congregation, or more than one congregation; then you do not have God. If where you attend worship condones homosexuality, allows for women preachers, same sex marriage, the unmarried living together, smoking, alcohol consumption, and gambling; then you do not have God. If the church you attend Sunday service teaches salvation apart from obeying the gospel; such as, proxy salvation which is no salvation at all; then you do not have God. The Devil has more men preaching from the Bible than God. This is provable in the fact that religious Christendom survives at all. I say "Christendom" because that's what they call it. The Bible doesn't call it that. It calls it the falling away - 2 Thessalonians 2:1-21. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;. That's what you see when you have the likes of Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Pentecostalism all claiming to bear the cross of Christ. Don't be deceived by the outward appearance. None of them are of God. Not by a long shot.
On the other hand, if you obey the gospel, and live faithful in Christ; then you have both God, and the promise of God - Matthew 25:34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:. If you follow the traditions of men - Mark 7:7-8Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do., and expect to receive the same of God; then you are thoroughly mistaken. The Bible determines, that God is under no obligation to save men. Man is the one who does the sinning. Therefore, man must seek forgiveness of his sins if he is to resume fellowship with his Creator. Man is saved by grace which is unmerited favour - Ephesians 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:. The Bible teaches that grace is applied through the faith of Jesus Christ - Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved., John 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.. What that means, is when we demonstrate a readiness of heart to take God at his word, and do those things which are required of faith, that is, contained within the word of God; then we have God. This is when the cross of Christ takes effect. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed at the cross. He was once offered to bear the sins of many - Hebrews 9:2828. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.. However, for us to benefit of this; there are certain conditions in which we must observe, namely, our obedience to the first principals of the oracles of God. Faith, that is, to take God at his word, is vital. The Bible teaches, that its impossible to please God without faith - Hebrews 11:66. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. Faith includes, confession of faith in Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins. That is to obey the gospel, even Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith - Hebrews 12:22. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.. Then the Lord will add you to "his" church - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. That is what the Bible teaches. Who are you going to believe?
As for those who say that one can be saved in any church, well, let them prove it unequivocally from scripture. The simple answer is, they can't. The Bible teaches no such thing as choosing the church of your choice. That's not what the church is supposed to represent. The church is the saved, the sanctified, and those who are set apart as God's heritage. Those that have obeyed the gospel unto repentance and baptism. In case you haven't read what the Bible teaches; is that the church belongs to God, and God alone does the adding to the church. Now as we all know well, there are many churches, and many ways to join those churches. However, the problem with that is that the Bible does not teach that kind of system, let alone, tolerate tampering with God's word. Few seem to understand that the church is standalone, and not several church types incorporated by means of varying doctrines. That kind of system wars against the Spirit of the letter of the truth. Mind you, it's more fashionable nowadays to turn one's back on God than to obey the truth. The term is salvation by proxy which is no salvation at all. You've heard it said, every seed after its own kind. Well, Roman Catholicism produces Catholics, inasmuch as Mormon's produce Mormon's, and what have you? Now many denominations take things a step further in that they refer to themselves as "born again Christians." My friend, the Bible teaches no such thing as a "born again Christian," let alone, any other kind of Christian, bar what the Bible teaches - Acts 11:2626. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.. Only when that form of doctrine which is found in the Bible is obeyed from the heart will God save that soul, and count that one who has obeyed the gospel, as seperated and sanctified, and numbered amongst those of the household of God, which is the church. The word "church" comes from the Greek word "Ekklesia," or the latin "Ecclesia," which means, called out, or seperated (sanctified). The terminology "called-out" refers to turning aside the pattern of this world. In other words, a change of direction, or forsaking the first principals of humanism. Humanism is man before God. Humanism teaches the beggarly elements; such as, materialism, fame, fortune, and those things that are common to sinful mankind. Humanism and God will always be at odds.
Now concerning unity in the faith. Well, there's no such thing as division in Christ, be it religion, doctrine, or whatever you want to call it. Those that obey not the truth are the causers of division. Those that lack understanding of the scriptures are the causers of division. Those who wrestle with the simplicity that is in Christ are the causers of division. The majority of modern Bible versions we have today are the causers of division. The religions of men are the causers of division. Division is divisive, and not of God. You see, the God haters are those who know not, or do not, the truth - 1 John 1:66. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:. Only those that obey what the Bible teaches have the right to be called Christian. As I've said before, not just any Bible will do. I've even heard it said by some of our own brethren, that we can get something out of all the Bible versions. Well, if they want to believe that let them go ahead. They forgot to mention that we can get all the bad, as in, (anti-doctrine) out of them too. Furthermore, Paul never mentioned other than that form of doctrine - Romans 6:1717. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. when declaring the full counsel of God - Acts 20:2727. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.. The vast majority of modern Bible versions are spiritually dangerous. What I'm trying to say, is that, rendering any part of God's word is anti-Christ. Man has absolutely no authority to remove even one jot or tittle from the inspired revelation. Now with regards to the King James Bible (English language), I have no doubt that God's hand is in this work. I have no doubt that the providence of Almighty God rests with the King James Bible - 1 Peter 1:2525. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.. Man has no right to meddle in that which pertains to the Godhead. Any man that hath part, or say, in that which exalteth itself against the knowledge of God shall in no wise escape judgement, that is, unless he repents - 2 Corinthians 10:55. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;. If it's piece of mind your after, my friend, then do yourself a favour, and find yourself a King James Bible.