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Copyright © 2018 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..
Now in keeping with the scriptures, we need to approach all that the Bible condemns as sinful from a critical standpoint - 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.. Mind you, our website is designed to vilify all that is wrong, and why not? The Bible warns us about calling evil good - Isaiah 5:2020. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!. Seemingly there's a lot of good evil going about these days. The murder of innocent blood is called abortion. Abortion sounds less impressive, doesn't it? Murder sounds, well, like murder, and rightly so. After all, it is murder. Sodomite is sanitized to homosexual, and sexual relations outside of the God ordained marriage (which is fornication and adultery) is watered down to infidelity. Then you have what they call assisted suicide. What next? I suppose better felt than told. When you remove the wrongness of something, well, it's no longer perceived as wrong. It's all down to what's being taught. Moral empathy dissipates, or in other words, Romans chapter one. We live in a world of so called experts who seem to know more than God, well, that's what they want you to believe. It's a crafty old world we live in, and no wonder, since Satan has the majority interest in directing men to hell.
You see, the only place your going to learn about the righteousness of God and the law of Christ is from the Bible. So without a preacher how does one hear? Well, for the most part they don't. The secular mainstream, who for the most part govern the media; would rather promote the likes of the Muslim Qu'ran than the Bible. Feminists and militant homosexuals are on the warpath against Christianity and the Bible. There's a concerted effort on the part of ungodly men and women to keep the greater part of the population ignorant of God's word. You have to wonder why? However, upon closer scrutiny we don't have to look too far to see whose behind it. That wiley old devil called Satan is the real trouble maker - Ephesians 6:1212. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.. He is the spirit that works in the children of disobedience - Ephesians 2:22. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:. Now it's no secret that men are naturally content in their sin, that is, until they are brought down to hell. That happens at death when a separation of body and spirit occurs. Yet a man can avoid hell if he would only obey the gospel and live faithfully in Christ thereafter. The Christian life is a clean and fruitful life; unlike those that just live for themselves. Here today and gone tomorrow is the rant of secular humanism. Roman Catholicism on the other hand, was formed by wicked men to suit liberals and infidels, and is the absolute antithesis of what Christ stands for. God gave them what they wanted. That's not to mention Islam and all the other false religions we have to contend with. Yet man is without excuse. God gave the Bible to mankind and all of mankind know the Bible exists. He also gave men who are apt to teach it. Now that's not saying all men are apt to teach, which is something we'll go into at a later stage no doubt. A convert to Christ must start at the beginning, or as the Bible puts it; with the first principals of the oracles of God - cf. Hebrews 5:1212. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.. The Bible also calls it the milk of the word - 1 Peter 2:2-32. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.. Now those who are on milk are babes in Christ, and rightly so - cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.. Such is to imply that there is growing to be done. The word of God demands that we grow in the knowledge of Christ. After all, Christ is the Saviour, and how we use that knowledge can be detremental to our salvation if used unwisely. Take for example the Lord's supper. Therefore, the religion of Christ is a taught religion and not something we strive headlong or in ignorance. My friend, we live to learn and learn to live. It's such a pity that some of my own compadres don't see it that way.
Now the law (as in the New Testament), teaches us away from ungodliness and unrighteousness, which of course, is not profitable to the soul. Righteousness is doing what is right. What God says to do is right, or righteousness. A righteous man will do what God says to do. Since God is the Creator and the judge of all men; then I think it's only reasonable that we do what he says to do. In fact, there are over six hundred plus (600+) individual commands (that equal to law) in the New Testament. The Mosaic law had six hundred and thirteen (613) individual commands. You see, God has all aspects of what it means to be a Christian well covered. Nothing is left out. Now that doesn't bode well with everyone, but what of that! What God says is final, and that's that! At the end of the day, isin't it better to obey the Lord and live? After all, if we have to give account in the day of judgement, and we do - Matthew 12:3636. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment., then how much more those who are entrusted with teaching the word of God? Teaching the truth is what saves, however, teaching the truth is not always received good heartedly. It seems that the old nemesis of sin is the prevailing denominator. Men love sin. Now we all sin, therefore, we all need to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. The Bible says, without blood there is no remission of sin - Hebrews 9:2222. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.. Christ was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him - 2 Corinthians 5:2121. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.. My friend, salvation demands repentance. Repentance requires teaching, and knowledge will guide the heart - Proverbs 3:66. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.. The fact is, the sin loving infidel will always reject sound doctrine regardless of who says what, and more especially, if it's contrary to he wants to believe. Unless such an one repents and is baptized, well, there isin't much more that can be said. Whether a man will believe or not what the Bible teaches remains with him. God requires no man to speak on behalf of others, save himself. As I said before, Christianity is a taught religion. Ignorance accomplishes nothing, only ignorance - Psalm 25:55. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.. On the other hand, lying lips are an abomination to the Lord - Proverbs 12:2222. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.. Those who teach contrary to what the Bible teaches are liars, and nothing more. Some men try to imply what God never said, and yet never explain the sourcing of their overtones. They teach recklessly without scriptural authority and accountability. Now rest assured the time is coming when they will give an account - James 3:11. My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.. Men might well bear with them, that is, until God raises his own. You see, the man of God is the man that preaches after God. I suppose as God answered the prophet in Romans 11:44. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal., there are faithful men of God in the world today. Every generation must be taught the truth, for the truth is priceless. Without the truth we loose all sense of purpose.
Finally, the Bible does not allow for any other religion, such as, Islam, Hinduism, nor even religious Christendom (which is denominate by nature), to claim they represent the God of heaven, when in fact, they worship devils - 1 Corinthians 10:19-2219. What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20. But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?. Furthermore, no religion or system of beliefs outside of Christ can save the soul. Now the sad fact, is that, the vast majority of those who claim to be Christian occupy the ranks of religious denominations. Now I take no pleasure in rebutting those who merchandise the word of God to their own end, even that. After all, they'll have no one to blame only themselves - Matthew 25:4141. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:. You see, there are two places where the ungodly shall be punished. Hell is the short-term torment, whilst the lake of fire is where death and hell shall be cast into eternity. Either way, the soul that is cast down to hell has been judged unworthy. That's why I warn men that salvation is in the now. For what is our life? even a vapour? Here today and gone tomorrow. In fact, God does not guarantee tomorrow will ever come. No man is guaranteed longevity, let alone, is he at liberty to frustrate the grace of God. What's more, God has made no provision for salvation outside of Christ and his church. The only provision is to become a member of the church by obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God - Mark 1:11. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;. The Bible calls the church, the church of Christ - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you..
Now hear the conclusion of the matter: A gospel preacher is a man who preachers the gospel. A man who doesn't preach the gospel is not a gospel preacher. Any man who adds or takes from the gospel is not a gospel preacher. Women are not permitted to preach the gospel, so that rules them out on all fronts. There exists a thundering disparity between the two preachers. The one preaches after God, and the other after man. Whilst one will save, the other will condemn. One is authorized, and the other is not. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? - Romans 10:1414. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?. Now despite the common consensus that exists amongst religious organizations, is that, anyone can become a Bible preacher as long as they have a desire to do that kind of work. A calling if you will. Well, I disagree with that, and no wonder, considering all the false teaching we have to contend with. Where do you think it comes from? Certainly not from the man who preaches after God, that's for sure. In fact, the perception that any man can preach does not line up with scripture - 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:. My friend, God will raise his own, and he does. Remember Elias? Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal - Romans 11:3-43. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.. Is one so foolish to think that God no longer cares? If so, then they need to think again. Now think on this thing also: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:1212. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.. Let that serve as a warning to you if you think you preach after God.
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 absolutely impossible for any man to be saved outside the church of Christ. The church of Christ is where the Lord adds those that should be saved - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you., 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.. Now that's if you want to believe what the Bible has to say on the matter. Moreover, the preposition "of" expresses the relationship between a part and a whole, such as, the church is to Christ. Without Christ there would be no church "of" Christ. There are many churches that have their origins of men, for example, John Smyth the founder of the Baptist church, or John Wesley the founder of the Methodist church; but only one is of Christ. As for all the other churches that compass about like flies to a dungheap, that's all well and good if salvation doesn't bother you too much; but for those who are concerned about the salvation of their souls, well, they need to go to the one who does the saving. It's as simple as that. Many a time I've crossed paths with the same religious disputants who try to argue that one can be saved in any church as long as they are faithful. What's faith got to do with being somewhere other than in the Lord's church? Such men and women have already forsaken the Lord when they join themselves to what is contrary. It seems that the religious spin doctors forget to mention what the Bible has to say with regards to those things that pertain to the Godhead - 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 church or churches of Christ (same thing) - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. You see, 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..
No doubt some will be offended with the outright condemnation of all churches except for the church of Christ. However, the same should bear in mind as to who does the saving. They also need to keep in mind what the Bible teaches with regards to the church, the role of the church, and how men are added to the church. Any authority that's been given to man is delegated authority, and subject to within the limitations of scripture. Anything beyond that is unauthorized, such as we observe within the ranks of the so called "International and Boston churches of Christ." Man has no authority of himself in the Lord's church. All churches outside of the church of Christ are the result of rebellion, and not by the authority of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Bible teaches it no other way.
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.
DO WOMEN HAVE A RIGHT TO PREACH?
Well the simple answer is a big ominous NO, and rightly so. In the Lord's church, a woman has no right to preach, let alone, speak - 1 Timothy 2:1212. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.. Thus saith the law of God. As for those without (all other churches), well, they can do what they want, and they do. Such things distinguish the sanctified from the rest. Christians (narrow-term) are under the law of Christ. The law of Christ demands an obedient faith. A lukewarm church does not bode well with God - Revelation 3:1616. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth..
Now as the saying goes, "Wag the dog." Whatever way one chooses 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., in other words, feminism. Feminism is women trying to be like men. The notion itself is absolutely absurd. Yet they press on in the false hope of procuring their wayward end; like those who have run the gauntlet in terms of same sex marriages. Now it goes without saying that such movements are evil, in, and of themselves, that nothing good will ever come of them. That said, it still remains that the pen is mightier than the sword in terms of educating the ignorant. 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. 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 it? - 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 really matters.
Now all that sounds well and good except for this so called feminist movement which seems to be encroaching on all quarters of modern society as we know it, and of course ushered along by the farce of political correctedness that defines our time, and what have you? Is it any wonder that we are witnessing the demise of the God ordained marriage, let alone, the family setting as it ought to be, and the ebbing away of moral dictate that was handed down by tradition from those who held the word of God in faith and verity? As I said earlier, I refuse to be politically correct, indeed, anything that would cause to separate us from fellowship with God, and for what? just to suit the trouble makers? Now to be more precise, women are forbidden to preach or teach in the Lord's church. It's also certain that this is not going to change. You see, the command came by the Spirit unto the holy men of God, and I dare say anything has changed with respect to God's will on the matter - Hebrews 13:88. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.. If and when such a thing does occur in the Lord's church, we can be sure it was brought about in the throws of rebellion and apostasy. The Bible is the measure of God that is set before church - 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.. Now there are many versions of the Bible as we all know well. No one disputes that. The problem is the lack of reverence men have for the Bible, not to mention, it being the final authority in all things that pertain to the church. The word of God has been lost from the hearts of men. They read but they don't heed. Behold the book of the law of God which was found in 2 King 22? Well, the same remains in plain sight for those that would to be faithful in the now. Those that have doubt should seek it out. You see, we still have the old reliable King James Bible which is a testimony in itself. Peter said that the word of the Lord endureth forever, excluding variations of course - 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.. Well, we can safely conclude that Satan's been hard at work. As the saying goes, no rest for the wicked! It's no secret that the mystery of iniquity has been active for a long time - 2 Thessalonians 2:77. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.. I suppose another reason for deceptions to linger no doubt. When the time comes, God will recompense that's for sure - 2 Thessalonians 1:88. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:. You can rest your laurels on that my friend. Now it goes without saying, that those who refuse the gospel of Jesus Christ are the same as those who refuse to obey it. Either way, it's the same thing, and the same outcome, which is hell. So when some loud-mouthed feminist comes along shouting her head off with regards to so called subjective evidence and hear say - James 1:2222. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves., well, any man who is faithful to the word of God must put his foot down. If he refuses then he is unfaithful to God. How can a man minister to the church on one part of the inspired text and not on the other? Is it possible and still be on good terms with God? Well Paul said concerning preaching; do nothing by partiality - 1 Timothy 5:2121. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.. It's all or nothing my friend - Acts 20:2727. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God..
God does not compromise on any part of his word. The record itself testifies to that, so we had better get used to it if we want to be saved, that is. As a matter of fact, very few look to the Bible nowadays for any kind of direction, let alone, authority in religion. If they do look to the Bible, it's usually in part, or to criticize. Now that speaks for itself. If you call yourself a Christian; then there is no walking away from the commmandment as if God was some respector of persons. There's no such thing as one thing for one man and something else for another. That's partiality. Yet the Bible tells us that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God - Romans 3:2323. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;. Therefore, the record testifies to all. Mind you, when you have loud-mouthed women and weak men in a church; that shows us that something is grievously wrong. It also shows us that such a church does not adhere to certain of the first principals of the oracles of God. The record declares that women are to keep silence in the churches: for they are not permitted to speak; but they are commmanded to be under obedience as also saith the law - 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.. So what, if women have to keep silence in the churches. What of it? Are we not to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord? We do this by obeying his word - James 4:1010. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.. Now in saying that, verse 34 is not some kind of overpowering objective devised on the part of man, nor is it a cultural thing of times past as some have suggested; but rather, a commmandment given by the Holy Spirit from God. God is the one who gave the command for women to be silent in the churches. Now please if you will, let us reason the scriptures that we might inherit a blessing. For such things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience - Colossians 3:66. For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:. The nature of unruliness itself, such as feminism, is diametrically opposed to the will of God. It was never the intention of Almighty God that the woman should be the bread winner, let alone, have rule over the man. That role belongs to the husband. The Bible teaches that the man was not made for the woman; but the woman for the man - 1 Corinthians 11:99. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.. Her place is in the home. At the end of the day our objective is to obey God and live.
Now the same cannot be said of those women we see babbling off throughout the mainstream and religious denominations as though they were ordained of God to such a role. Such are the messengers of Satan and not of God. They have no authority to do such things; though they be without. What's more, though they be without, they do possess a certain degree of knowledge which suggests a form of wilful ignorance on their part. The point I'm making, is that, even some within the ranks of the Lord's church have succumbed to similar notions, if not, influence. Moreover, they have no right in the sight of almighty God to procure to such an end. All it amounts to is disobedience. Now the simple solution is if they don't like what they see; they should go elsewhere. No one is forced to be a member of the Lord's church. However, if one wants to be saved; then they might well put up with it. At the end of the day, the church of Christ is subject to the law of Christ. In Luke 6:4646. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?, Jesus said, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? The Holy Spirit gave Paul to write by inspiration a command for women to remain silent in the church - 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.. Paul was one of the earthen vessels in whom God choose to deliver his word. As a matter of fact, Paul is the writer of over half of the New Testament. Now it's certain that no man has the authority to alter even the smallest part, let alone, any part of the inspired record. Therefore the six hundred plus commandments in the New Testament will remain until the fulness of the third dispensation (or church age) has come to pass. That includes the command for women to be silent in the churches.
In saying that, it also answers our question. Have women the right to preach? Well, if silence is the command; then how can one preach in silence? Or as the saying goes: "A shut mouth saves lives."
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, collaborative ideologies, such as what we observe in the church of scientology, procure their beliefs through systematic and overpowering 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.
Work in progress....
UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
What does the Bible tell us about the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit operate today as he did in the first century? Are miraculous signs and wonders still performed in the church today? How about revelation? Are men still in receipt of inspired knowledge from God? What is the gift of the Holy Spirit? What is meant by baptism in the Spirit? Now having said all that, where does the Bible belong in the grander scheme of things? You know, Solomon said, "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.. How is it only a moiety is represented concerning the gifts of the Spirit by those who advocate the necessity of such things? Surely we're to declare all the counsel of God, that is, if we say we represent God? Paul did - Acts 20:2727. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.. So why don't those who claim that the gifts of the Spirit are still evident, do the same? As I said before, wilful (or deliberate) ignorance has a lot to answer for. You can't preach one part and ignore the other. That does not represent the truth as a whole. Actually, such is to detract from what is written, and therefore, transgress the law. In other words, to sin.
As I mentioned before, the Godhead is made up of three individual persons. That's what the Bible teaches. God the Father is the first person of the Godhead, 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.. The second person of the Godhead is 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., who is the Christ - Matthew 16:1616. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, and the Son of the living God., and the Son of God (the first person) - Mark 1:11. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;, cf. Philippians 2:6-76. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:, John 7:1616. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, also known as the Spirit of God - Romans 8:1414. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. He has a seperate identifiable personality, so therefore, an individual person; whilst at the same time possessing the one nature of the Godhead. Jesus said, "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." 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.. Jesus spake of the Holy Spirit as a "he." The personal pronoun, he, is mentioned six times in verse thirteen, and evey time it refers to an intelligent individual, and in the masculine gender. This clearly shows us that the Holy Spirit is a person, and in the masculine gender. In fact, God is masculine gender. Now in case some of us get ahead of ourselves, we need to reflect on the fact, that God is not a man. God is a Spirit - John 4:2424. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.. Man is a twofold creation, in that, he is made of both body and spirit. Man was created in the image of God, male and female, created he them - Genesis 1:2727. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them., cf. Genesis 5:1-21. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.. Needless to say why man was created male and female, hence, mankind. That should suffice in putting an end to any stereotypical prejudice.
Now one of the main roles of the Holy Spirit in the early church was to lead the apostles into all 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.. We have that record in the form of the scriptures, or New Testament. Concerning those things which were about to be revealed (past tense), well, the adverb, all, referred to the fullness of the counsel of that revelation. In other words, after the revelation had been received, there was no further revelation to come. It's also worth noting, the pronoun, you, in verse thirteen (13). In keeping with the proper context of the passage, the pronoun is referring to the people that Jesus addressed at that particular point in time; which of course was the apostles. No doubt this rules out any further revelation. John was the last of the apostles to receive revelation from God. In fact, he was the last of the apostles to live, hence, the last book of the Bible, the revelation of Jesus Christ to his servant John - Revelation 1:11. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:. You see, the apostles were the earthen vessels that God had chosen to reveal his will to mankind. Mind you, hand picked by the Lord, even Paul (Acts chapter nine). There you have it. The context of the passage rules out any possibility of further revelation. Actually, the scriptures teach no such thing as personal revelations whatsoever. Does it not strike you as odd when you see those things in a church today? We see this in the Pentecostal church for example, and we all know that Pentecostal churches are not of God. In fact, personal revelations have no part in anything that pertains to the Godhead, and why would they? What kind of God do they think we worship? Saying one thing to one man and something else to another? That's confusion. 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.. If anything, those who do such things have the propensity to wax further from the authority of the scriptures. It's also mindful that we acknowledge the fact that such things do not go unnoticed by God. You've heard the saying, some men's sins go before, and others follow after - 1 Timothy 5:2424. Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after...
HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT COMMUNICATE?
If we are to understand the nature of the New Testament; we also need to understand how the Holy Spirit revealed God's word by revelation, signs and wonders to the early church.
So how does the Holy Spirit communicate with us today? Now it seems that for some, they espouse to themselves the belief that the Spirit communicates through feelings and intuitions (or hunches), as in, the so called inner leading. That's all fine and well until you read what the Bible has to say. Such beliefs equal a subjective form of religion, which largely ignores what the scriptures have to say on any subject, let alone, the Holy Spirit. You see, there's a huge difference between feelings and fact, not to mention, what is right from wrong. So the question remains, how does the Spirit communicate? Well, I guess that leaves us with the only reasonable and intelligible answer we have, that is, through the word. Notice in - Revelation 2:2929. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches., "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." What followed, was a letter to each of the churches throughout Asia Minor. In 1 Timothy 4:11. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; we read, that the Spirit speaketh expressly (in plain and understandable language), that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Mind you, it was never the function of the Holy Spirit to originate truth; but to reveal truth. The word of truth came from the Father (the first person of the Godhead) - 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., cf. John 17:1717. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.. Moreover, Jesus said in John 12:4949. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak., "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." You'll also notice, that in both instances, the origin of the doctrine was with the first person of the Godhead, that is, God the Father. There's absolutely no doubt that the Holy Spirit communicates by the word of God, and indeed, communicated by word, hence the holy men of God that were moved by the Holy Spirit (past tense).
When Christ concluded his ministry on earth; he returned to the Father from whence he came - John 16:2828. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.. The Holy Spirit continued the work of Christ by leading the apostles into all truth, just as Jesus had said - John 14:2626. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.. It's also worth mentioning - Ephesians 2:2020. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;, in that, the church (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.), are built upon the foundation of the apostles and Jesus Christ. That clearly shows us that revelation went no further than with them. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 13:88. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away., that charity (love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. Without going too much into it now; this revelation had to do with the end of the gifts of the Spirit which were evident in the early church. Once the church had been established, and the record of the testimony was written, well, what further use was there for speaking in tongues, or even revelation for that matter? God's purpose was accomplished. Jesus said, "...upon this rock (referring to himself, not Peter), I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." - Matthew 16:1818. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.. What Jesus was saying, is that, the church would endure (or continue) until he returns again. That in no way suggests he was talking about all the various denominations we see today, who all claim to be Christian, and what have you? but rather, the church that he had established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection. The same church wherein the Holy Spirit led the apostles into all truth. The same church the Holy Spirit mentioned in - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. The same church that's in the business of saving men from hell.
WHAT WAS THE GIFT OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES?
So what about the gift of speaking in tongues? What was the purpose of this gift, and is still necessary today? Well, the simple answer is no. The less simple answer, is that, the gift of tongue speaking was for a sign to the unbelieving Jews of that day - 1 Corinthians 14:2222. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.. Furthermore, the gift of tongues was only given to men because women were not allowed to speak in the church assemblies. Now this may well sound partisan, and maybe so, but it's what the Bible teaches. Despite the advocation of the feminist movement, and with all due respect; women do not have the right to everything they think they have a right to do. The Holy Spirit used simple and understandable language to convey this message, not to mention, the fact that both verses are for a record in the inspired revelation of - 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.. What that means, is that, women must comply to the will of God in this matter also, that is, if they want to be saved - Matthew 24:3535. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.. When men refuse the commandment of God; they commit sin. Sin is a transgression of the law - 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.. Moreover, the command is law according to verse thirty four (34). Therefore, it's incumbent that I preach as the oracles of God, that is, if I claim to preach after God. If that involves the condemnation of those things which are inherently wrong, then so be it. After all, whether right or wrong, God is going to judge - 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.. Mind you, it's in our best interest to understand what the will of the Lord is - Ephesians 5:1717. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.. The only way we can understand the will of the Lord is from the word of the Lord - 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.. It's not unreasonable then, that we bear the burden of responsibility for what we choose to believe. Having the ability to choose is a game changer, so to speak. In other words, the use of free will. You see, if men want false teaching, well, there's plenty of that - 2 Thessalonians 2:10-1110. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:. However, if it's truth their after, well, there's only one place to find that - John 17:1717. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.. It's how we understand the truth that will determine the outcome. There can only be two outcomes by the way, and that is, we're either right or wrong. Therefore, for us to better understand the role of the Holy Spirit in communicating the doctrine contained in the New Testament, it's crucial that we understand the correlation that exists between the gifts of the Spirit to the early church and the same doctrine in relation to the church today. Without this understanding, it would be impossible for us to grasp the proper context of the New Testament's teaching, and thereby allude to any number of false teachings. Notwithstanding, that the same false conclusions are readily employed by charismatics and Pentecostals alike.
Work in progress....
HOW DOES GOD REVEAL HIS WILL TODAY?
Well, the simplist answer is from his word, and that's found in the Bible; particularly the New Testament. Now in an ideal world, of course, that would be a King James Bible. I wouldn't preach from anything else, and for very good reason. A major and fundamental problem in communicating the word of God today is the overly and excessive rendering of words. American literature seems to be the worst offender, wherein, and for obvious reasons, Satan has taken full advantage. A good example of this is the New King James Version published by HarperCollins. The title itself is a no-brainer misnomer because King James is long dead. It makes no sense, save for some ulterior motive which excludes teaching the truth no doubt. Mind you, the New King James is not the only version of the Bible that has erred from the truth. There are several others on that road to dissention. The problem is that for the most part they are the preferred choice, when in fact, they don't even come close to reliable. If anything, they cause more confusion than not. Mind you, they're more suited to the doctrines of men than that of God. In saying that, I don't buy it for one moment that we can get something good out of all the versions, because two wrongs don't make a right. A good translation like the King James Bible is all good because the translation itself is good. You know, it's better to be safe than sorry, and that settles it for me. What's more, Paul said to put the brethren in remembrance, even to charge them before the Lord, that they strive not about words - 2 Timothy 2:1414. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers., cf. Titus 3:99. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.. Notice the verb, charge, in verse fourteen (v.14). The charge in that passage is a command. The nature of the command is serious because of the grievous implications that can ensue. In other words, false teaching.
As I've said before and generally advocate to that end, is that, God reveals his will through his word. There is no possibility of revelation beyond what has already been revealed. It's as simple as that. Why is it then, that for some, this is difficult to understand? After all, it's what the Bible teaches. Now note carefully the following: Moses, the first writer of the Bible, and with reference to the current discourse - Deuteronomy 4:22. 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., Solomon who wrote Proverbs 30:66. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (roughly the middle portion of the Bible), and John the last writer of the Bible (quoting the last verse) - Revelation 22:1919. 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.; all warned about adding to or taking from what was written. When men claim that they've been led by the Holy Spirit apart from scripture; they not only contradict scripture, but add to it by proxy. That is to usurp the authority of the scriptures, not to mention, that of God. We need to be very careful that the Bible does not become a closed book. That in and of itself is certainly an inexcusable oversight on the part of man, not to mention, is dangerous in terms of that which is unseen and eternal.
Work in progress....