A M A N U A L
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE
SACRED SCRIPTURES FOR ALL
BELIEVERS IN CHRIST JESUS
LEON A. BYNOE
Editor of GRACE AND TRUTH MAGAZINE
BIBLE TRUTH PUBLISHING CO.
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A M A N U A L
SACRED SCRIPTURES FOR ALL
BELIEVERS IN CHRIST JESUS
Bible Class Groups, Sunday
School Teachers, and all Christian Workers will find it a
valuable aid in understanding difficult Bible themes.
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It has been the author's
desire for a very long time to prepare such a Manual, containing "a
declaration of those things which are most surely believed among
This Manual is the product
of long association with the Sacred Scriptures; much light has been
re-discovered from the use of many versions, especially the concordant
Version. This Manual may appear to be in contradiction to the many
doctrines that owe their allegiance to "traditions" taught by
man, and the dogmas of sectarianism, but I have sought to cleave to the
pure, unadulterated word of God, concordantly rendered and correctly
partitioned, which is our greatest heritage and treasure.
We are exhorted to, "Endeavor
to present yourself to God, qualified, and unashamed worker, correctly
cutting the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15, Concordant Version).
This is attained only by diligent study; patient and sustained
investigation, will lead to rare discoveries of truth. "Correctly
cutting the Word of truth," is a metaphor, "a phrase
literally denoting an idea in place of another, by way of suggesting a
likeness or analogy between them.
We must have the confidence
and courage to cut a straight line for the truth, turning neither to the
right nor the left. When we confuse the truth, we become ourselves
confused and exposed to shame. For example, Hymeneus and Philetus did
not deny the resurrection, like the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:12), but they
misplaced it (2 Tim. 2:17-18). They made it past, when it was future. So
all truth has its appropriate place, out of which truth itself becomes
the most insidious error, because it seems to have the support of
We must not transfer the
truth of one eon (age) into another, we should leave the truth
concerning Israel to them, and that for the Church which is His body,
should not be mixed with Israel. In no other way can we understand God's
plan and purpose.
I firmly believe that there
are many of God's people, who, if they really knew what the Scriptures
set forth for this era of grace, and what the Lord requireth of them,
they would be willing and anxious to accept the Word of God and move
forward to higher heights and deeper depths in spiritual things,
because, "the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverb 4:18).
I have examined the record
with reverence and deep humility, seeking from God an understanding of
His revelation. God's intention is never frustrated by man's s0-called
will or by his perversity, but moves on relentlessly to the determined
"Let God be true, but
every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4). I, therefore, am presenting this work
in accord with Him Who is the head over all things to the ecclesia (the
church) which is His body that the truth contained therein may be the
means of uniting God's people in the unity of the spirit, that we may
all speak the same thing and be of one mind.
In the presentation of the
truth contained herein, I have drawn largely from some profound Bible
Scholars, who do not care to have their names mentioned, and I have had
the benefit of the counsel and help, of my friend and colleague, Elder
This work is recommended to
the reader only to the extent that it is found to be entirely supported
by the Scriptures.
Leon A. Bynoe
God - The Father
GOD (Greek, Theos) English Placer,
Hebrew Al, Plural Alueim. This is not a name, but one of the
titles of the Deity.
This Hebrew word therefore, is one of the
titles which we give to that eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible
Being, the Creator of all things, Fountain of all life, Who preserves
and governs everything by His Almighty power and wisdom, and is the only
object of our worship.
IEUE - PRONOUNCED "YEHWEH"
This Hebrew word IEUE is the
Name of Names. It is a verbal noun, It has all the tenses, past, present
and future. Unlike English the Hebrew language has no auxiliaries to
express its verbal meaning otherwise. The letter "I" in the
Name denotes, the future, "will be," the "E U," the
present (being), and the "E," the past "was." So
then the Sacred Name means literally, will-being-was.
The Hebrews had such a
veneration for His holy Name, IEUE ( Jehovah) that they never pronounced
it, but instead, made use of that of ADONAI, which signifies properly,
My Lords, in the plural number. They also called Him more correctly AL,
which signifies Strong, or Subjector, or Shaddai - One Who is self
sufficient or suffices or JA, - God.
Scripture references: - Matt.
1:23 "God (Theos) with us" - Acts 2:36 "that God (Theos )
makes him Lord as well as Christ, this Jesus Whom ye crucify" - 2
Cor. 1:3 "Blessed is the God (Theos) and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of pities, and God (Theos) of consolation." - 2
Cor. 8:1, 1 Cor. 10:31.
GOD IS SPIRIT, He fills the
universe. He is everywhere (John 4:24). God's throne is in heaven, (Isa.
66:1, Acts 7:49) that pre-eminent sanctuary of God and of Christ is
presently unseen and imperceptible to man, yet described in God's Word
as a sphere of unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). From that unseen,
luminous. glorious abode of God, His vibrant invisible spirit pervades
every region of the universe. Thus no place or room, however distant can
he unknown, inaccessible or unseen to God. To Him the night shineth as
the day (Psa. 139-12).
Lord Jesus Christ
LORD (Greek Kurios)
Sanctioner or "Master," One with authority over others in
relation to service, it applied to the Father (Gen. 2:4), To the Son,
(Col. 3:24), and to God's Spirit, (2 Thess. 3:5).
JESUS (Hebrew IEUSHUA)
meaning will-be-Saviour. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua
(Matt 1:20-21). Jesus Christ the title of His humiliation, Christ
Jesus, the title of His exaltation.
And there is no salvation in
any other, for neither has any other name been given under heaven among
men in which we must be saved (Acts. 4:12, Concordant Version).
CHRIST: (Greek Christos)
meaning Anointed Gal, 2:16 official title as God's anointed One, His Son
(Matt. 16:16, John 20:31). The same is the Hebrew word Messiah (Psalm
45:7, Isa. 61:1). He is uniquely the Son of God. In His pre-human nature
He was by assumption equal with the Father, and over all creation God
blessed for the eons.
In His previously exalted
state and position, He emptied Himself and was made flesh. Becoming
obedient to God the Father, even unto death, even the death of the Cross
(Phil. 2:6-8), and by virtue of His sacrifice, He became our Saviour,
Lord. and Christ. Assuming (supremely) the lesser offices as prophet,
priest and King (Heb. 7:25), and Reconciler of the entire universe to
God by the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20).
Holy Spirit - Holy Trinity
What is the Holy Spirit?
The usual answer given by
the more so-called orthodox Christian Organizations is that "The
Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the 'Godhead' constituting
what is commonly called the 'Holy Trinity.' The other members of the
trinity are God the Father, and His son Jesus Christ our Lord."
The above answer is an
article of faith in most denominations, but it is not justified by
Scriptural warranty. The Scripture does give us a more satisfying answer
by distinguishing God and Christ and the Holy Spirit in John 4:23-24.
Jesus said, "But coming is the hour and now is, when the true
worshipers will be worshiping the Father in spirit and truth, for the
Father also is seeking such to be worshiping Him. God is Spirit, and
those who are worshiping Him must be worshiping in spirit and
truth" (Concordant Version). See also John 8:28-29.
In Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter
1:15-16 the Scriptures tell us that God is "holy." According
as He Who calls you is holy, you also become holy in all behaviour,
because it is written that, "Holy shall you be for I am Holy."
Not only is our Father God a Spirit, but He is holy - a Holy Spirit, and
He would have His people to he holy also.
Our Lord Jesus Christ had
much to say about the Holy Spirit of God when He was here in flesh. See: -
John 5:30, John 6:63, John 14:16-17, 26, John 15:26, John 16:13. Paul
too, has much to say about the operation of the Spirit in Romans and in
his other epistles (Romans 5:5, 8:1-2, 8:5-6, 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:4, 2:10-12,
6:19, 12:4, 12:11).
There is no reference in
Scripture concerning the doctrine of the trinity (1 Cor. 8:6) for God is
One, the Father of all. Christ Jesus is the Son of God the "First
born of every creature, in whom all is created and in Whom all has its
cohesion" (Col. 1:16-17). Let us therefore lay aside vain
traditional opinion and accept the clear word of holy Scripture. It
should be quite clear to all, that God's Holy Spirit is not a person,
but is the manifestation and presence of God's own Spirit, in the hearts
and lives of those who are called in grace by Jesus Christ. In 2 Cor.
3:17 we read "The Lord is that Spirit (Holy Spirit). There are not
two spirits - "There is one body, and one Spirit, etc." (Eph.
"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. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and
shew it unto you" (John 16:13-14).
The above Scripture seems to suggest that the Holy
Spirit is a person, in our English Bibles, but the word "he"
is neuter in Greek. The Text should read, "When it the
spirit [God's Spirit] of truth is come, etc."
"If you, then, being inherently wicked says the
Master, are aware how to give good gifts to your children, how much
rather will the Father out of heaven be giving Holy Spirit to those
requesting Him?" (Luke 11:13, C. V.) Surely not a person is in view
The Sacred Scriptures is a
library of sixty-six books, or more correctly of sixty-two books1,
bound together for convenience. These books were written over a period
of 1,685 years2 , from
Moses to John, at Patmos.
The tlmirty-nine or
thirty-five books of the Old Testament so-called were written in Asia,
some in Palestine and some in Babylonia. The New Testament books were
written in Asia Minor, Greece, and in Italy, all in the Greek tongue.
The Old Testament so-called
is in three parts - history, poetry, and prophecy.
It is concerned with the dealings of God with man. Old Testament history
is contained in the first seventeen books, from Genesis to Esther. Its
poetry is mostly contained in the five books after Esther, from Job to
the Song of Solomon. Job is epic poetry, and with the other three may be
called, Wisdom Books, or Gnomic poetry. The Psalms are liturgical.
preaching, as well as fore-telling. There are four such large books of
prophecies, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These men are called
the Major Prophets, because of their extensive writings. There are
twelve shortly written books, called (for a like reason) the Minor
The New Testament so-called
like the Old is in three parts, history, letters or epistles,
and prophecies. The historical books are, Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John, and the Acts. Matthew, Mark, and Luke taken together present
a synopsis or general view of the life of Christ. John is an
interpretive account, dealing mainly with the ministry of Jesus in Judea
rather than in Galilee. The Acts is a narrative of the ministry first of
Peter, then of Paul. It is an account of the beginning of the ecclesias
of Christ. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as inspired writers, gives us
the history of Jesus, the Christ, in their own style, one supplementing
the other in a remarkable way.
Of the twenty-one letters
contained in the Greek Scriptures, thirteen are of Paul. Hebrews,
authorship is unknown. Five of them were written during his imprisonment
in Rome. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2nd Timothy and Philemon.
The general epistles include James, 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
John, and Jude. The Revelation belongs to a kind of writing called
apocalyptic, like the book of Daniel.
Such hooks are addressed to
the faithful in their distress, and for the protection of the writer
they make use of symbols rather than plain statements, representing the
oppressors under the form of strange beasts. Thus Daniel (it is
supposed) was intended to encourage the Jews oppressed by the Greeks
under Antiochus Epiphanes, and Revelation was intended to encourage the
christians oppressed by the Romans under Nero, and his imperial
The Sacred Scriptures thus
consisting of a collection of these various writings, is an inspired
book. It is the Word of God; the supreme Communication in all history of
the will and purpose of God. It is its own defense and commendation.
In the Original Hebrew Manuscripts, 1st and 2nd Samuel are one book,
so also 1st and 2nd Kings, 1st and 2nd Chronicles and Ezra and
Nehemiah are one book. This reduces the number of books to sixty-two.
From Moses to John at Patmos, are as follows: The Wilderness Journey
to the division of the land, forty-six years. The period of the
judges, four hundred and fifty years; the Kings, five hundred and
thirteen years. Captivity to Babylon, seventy years; thence to A.D. 1,
five hundred thirty-six years; from thence to John at Patmos seventy
years, making a total of 1,685 years.
The First Man (Adam)
Adam is the name given to
the first being who is said to be created in the image and likeness of
God, and is made lord of all living things created on the earth and in
Adam was the last living
being to be created on the earth. Evidently everything was provided for
him, and his earthly dominion was complete. For him a home was also
provided called or known as the Garden of Eden. In it was planted fruit
trees, particularly the tree of life and the tree of the Knowledge of
Good and Evil. Of the latter tree, Adam was forbidden to eat of its
fruit lest he die.
Then following all this a
help-mate, a wife, was given to Adam, and in course of time the serpent
who was also in the Garden tempted the woman, and she being deceived
partook of the forbidden fruit, and in turn gave to Adam, her husband
who also (deliberately) ate of its fruit, and thus disobeyed his Maker
and Father, God, and consequently brought sin into the world.
It is this one act of sin
that is passed on to all of Adam's posterity in which all share.
Consequently, we have become a dying race. See Genesis chapters 2 and 3
and Romans 5:12.
The Second Man (Christ)
The second man Who is Jesus,
the Christ, became our Saviuur and Lord (1 Cor. 15:22,45-47).
The inspired statement that
"the first man, Adam, became a living soul" and the connected
assertion that the last man Christ a vivifying Spirit," 1 Cor.
15:45-46, together with the added statement that as in Adam all are
dying, thus also in Christ, shall all be vivified (1 Cor. 15:22),
clearly indicate that the whole human race is represented in these two
men, namely Adam and Christ. Their respective acts affects all mankind.
The act of sin on the part of the first man, Adam, brought condemnation
and death upon all without exception, without their having any part in
the whole matter. Likewise the One act of obedience by Christ brought
righteousness and life to all in a similar manner, Romans 5:18-19. This
is salvation by grace essentially for all.
Thus we read God wills all
mankind to be saved, and to come into a realization of the truth (1 Tim.
2:4), and again "God Who is the Saviour of all mankind especially
of those who believe" (1 Tim. 4:10).
All those passages of
Scriptures, that deal with judgments of the saved and the sinner, do not
set at naught this fundamental basic truth, of the salvation and the
eventual righteousness of all mankind, when the Word of God is rightly
divided and correctly translated.
The child of God needs,
therefore, to be patient and trustful, needs also by prayer and petition
to God to give himself wholly, earnestly, to the study of the Word by
means of a good translation such as the Concordant Version and the
proper exposition of the Word of God by faithful and devoted men. And we
humbly recommend the Unsearchable Riches magazine, and our
magazine, GRACE AND TRUTH, and our booklets and
tracts, also other literature from authors of like faith and doctrine,
which we are glad to recommend.
We are calling the above
Scriptural helps to your attention, because we know that it is
essential, for you to be discriminating in your reading and studying, if
you ever hope to arrive at the truth. For too many works of translation
and exposition, we regret to say, are not at all helpful to a proper
understanding of the Word of God.
Sin - Missing
(a) Missing the Divine
standard of righteousness
(b) Coming short of God's righteous standard
(c) Separation from God
"Therefore, even as
through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and
thus death passed through into all mankind, on which all sinned"
(Romans 5:12, C. V.).
Any thought, word, action,
omission, or desire, contrary to the law of God. Missing of the glory of
Original sin was the
rebellion of the first man Adam against the Creator, which was a sin of
race-wide proportion, which brought guilt and stain to all mankind. God
is not the author of sin or of death, it is inconsistent with the divine
holiness and purity to dispose the creature to sin. "As God cannot
be tempted to evil, neither tempteth He any man" (James 1:1:3).
Sin and death entered into
the world through Adam and by his disobedience and his yielding to the
temptation of Satan he made all his posterity guilty in the eyes of God.
God is a master; Sin is also
a master; though not a person, it has the power of a master. Sinners are
servants or slaves of sin. These are the only two masters occupying the
whole domain of moral action.
The Apostle Paul said,
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey,
(slaves for obedi ence) his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of
sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness" (Rom. 6:16).
Sin - Nullified
Lo! the lamb of God which is
taking away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). It is to be
regretted, that sufficient weight and importance, is not given to this
grand and glorious declaration of Scripture. It will take the whole
period of the eons, for this inspired assertion, to be implemented, on
the basis of the sacrifice of "the Lamb of God." Hence, we are
so informed by the inspired writer of the epistle to the Hebrews as
follows: - (Heb. 9:25-26) "Nor is it that He may he offering
Himself often, even as the chief priest is entering into the holies of
holies, yearly, by the blood of others, since then he must often be
suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now once, has He
been manifested through His sacrifice, for the repudiation of sin at
the conclusion of the eons."
The Great White Throne
Judgment, for example, is part of the eonian times, hence the "lake
of fire" and the "second death" which will take place
during those times, and severe though those judgments will be, do not
constitute the final state of those so judged, for Christ is still
the Lamb of God which is taking away the sin of the world. Therefore,
His blood will still avail, or be efficacious, for the nullification of
sin unto the conclusion of the eons.
Immortality of the Soul
The word of God teaches that
all souls are mortal, not immortal. In Gen. 2:7 we read - "And
forming is Ieue Alueim (the Lord God) the human of soil from the ground,
and He is blowing in His nostrils the breath of the living, and becoming
is the human a living soul," (Concordant Version).
Thus every person is a
living soul. No one has a soul. Each person is a soul. Each soul
(person) is mortal. The word soul means, (1) a whole person or
(2) the life of a person (Lev. chapter 5).
Only one soul has
immortality now, that is Christ Jesus our Lord (John 5:26).
The false teaching of
"Immortality of the soul" is the foundation of spiritism. We
will put on immortality after we are raptured or resurrected (1 Cor.
(Greek Soteria) Literally, Saving
Salvation - not only
includes the righteousness and deliverance from sin obtained through
faith in Christ Jesus, but also deliverance from the present wicked eon,
and from the present dying cosmos into the kingdom of God's dear Son for
the glorious eons of the eons which are ahead for those who are loving
Peter said - "there is
no salvation (sotêria) in any other One, for neither is there any other
name under heaven among men, in which we must be saved" (Acts
4:8-12; 2 Tim. 2:10).
Paul said - " Godly
sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation" (2 Cor. 7:10). The
evangel is God's power for salvation to everyone who is believing (Rom.
1:16) with the mouth confession is made to salvation" (Rom. 10:10).
For salvation, we do not
need works of merit and Law-keeping, since we are justified in God's
sight through the finished work of Christ Jesus. We are complete in Him
(Col. 2:10), and all we need is found in Him (1 Cor. 1:29-31). Christ
settled the sin question to a finality, and for all time. Thus He makes
it possible, for God to be the Justifier, of all who are of the faith of
Jesus (Rom. 3:24-26).
There is no other power in
the universe which can turn men to God. All the modern substitutes,
oratory, or emotional excitement, so-called divine healing, cannot save
or make men right before God. The evangel ALONE,
without any additions or apologies, is able to justify anyone who
believes. This evangel imparts God's own righteousness to those who are
called, for only such ones accept and believe the evangel.
Justification - Justify
Justify (Greek dikaiõo) to
make righteous or to constitute just. Justification is a free gift of
God through Christ. And it is for all mankind, though only the called
ones of all dispensations are recipients of it, beginning with Abel
(Rom. 3:22-28, 5:18-19; Heb. 11:4, 39-40; Rom. 4:1-17, etc.). It will be
extended to all in due time (Rom. 5:18-19).
To be Justified is to be
acquitted from the charge brought against us, and therefore absolved
from the condemnation with which we were threatened. With regard to us
the condemnation was deserved and the charge was true. "Being
justified freely (gratuitously) by His grace" (Rom. 3:24). If it be
done freely, it must be of grace, and if it be gracious, it must be
free. Merit in a sinner is impossible. The publican prayed, "God be
merciful to me a sinner" and went down to his house justified.
means pronounced righteous. Justification is the act of a judge.
Justification is part of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There could be no justification from sin without the death and
resurrection of Christ. It is the result of Christ's obedience already
performed, and to which we can add nothing that God justifies freely by
His grace, all those who believe in Jesus. The law condemns. Grace
largely developed in the Pauline Epistles; it means to be declared
innocent, and thus we can find peace with God (Rom. 5:1-2). By it we
are put beyond the reach of condemnation (Rom. 8:1-4, 5:16).
It should not be confused
with the word "pardon" which means forgiveness. This
act of forgiveness, is the exercise of executive clemency, in remitting
guilt or the penalty incurred. It is the prerogative of a Sovereign or a
Governor, but in spite of "Pardon," the record of the crime
and guilt stands recorded. Should the condition of the pardon be broken,
it can be withdrawn, and the penalty enforced.
Literally "Well-message" or good news.
Evangel (Greek eva(n)ggelion),
literally "Well-message" or good news. Evangel is often
translated "gospel." There are several evangels or gospels in
the Greek Scriptures which bring us good news regarding God's plan for
all mankind. The Scriptures also caution against mixed or misapplied
gospels which may confuse the believers. See Gal. 1:6-9.
The following enumeration of
the evangels are here given, there may be others.
The evangel of Christ (Mark. 1:1).
The evangel of the Kingdom (Matt. 4:23; 9:35).
The evangel of God (Romans 1:1).
The evangel of the grace of God (Acts. 20:24).
The evangel of the glory of God (1 Tim. 1:11). -
The evangel of peace (conciliation - Rom. 5:1-3) (Eph. 6:15).
The secret evangel (Eph. 3:6 - For the members of the Body of Christ).
The eonian (everlasting) evangel (Rev. 14:6).
There is a decided
distinction between these evangels, from the above citations the student
may make his own research.
"Glory" (Greek, Doxa,
Seem). A highly favorable opinion and that which impresses it on the
senses of the mind" (Concordant Version).
The word "doxa" is
used with reference to God, the Father, (Romans 6:4; Eph. 1:17, 3:16;
Luke 2:9; John 11:4 25); to Christ, (Matt. 19:28, 24:30; Luke 9:20; 2
Cor. 8:23; Phil. 3:21, etc.); to the saints, ("the glory about to
be revealed for us," Romans 8:18; "Before the eons for our
glory," 1 Cor. 2:7; "eonian burdens of glory," 2 Cor.
4:17; "transformed or changed from glory to glory," 2 Cor.
3:18; etc.; to others - the world kingdom, Matt. 4:8, Luke 4:6 - Solomon,
Matt. 6:29 - Thy people, Luke 2:32 - Moses and Elijah, Luke 9:31.
Conciliate - Reconciliation
Conciliate - (Greek
katallasso) down-change (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Romans 5:10). The noun (Katallagë)
(Romans 5:11, 11:15; 2 Cor. 5:18,19) conciliation.
To conciliate is an act on
the part of one side only in an estrangement; Romans 5:10 is an example
of its use.
This Greek word, Katallasso,
has not been distingiuslied by translators in general from its closely
related or cognate word apokatallasso, meaning reconciliation, which is
two-sided or mutual. Only in Paul's prison epistles is this word
employed which states the fact, that the saints are reconciled to God
and to one another through the cross (Eph. 2:15-18; Col. 1:20-21).
Ecclesia (Greek Ekklesia) out-called
The Church which is His body.
"Ecclesia" - erroneously
translated "church," which often has a non-scriptural
connotation when referring to a denomination or building. Scripture
references: - 1 Cor. 12:27-28; 2 Thess. 1:3-4; Col. 1:18-20; Eph. 5:23.
"The Church which is
his body" was never known to any man until it was revealed by the
glorified Christ through the ministry of Paul and announced in his
epistles only (Eph. 3:5). Nowhere else in all Scripture is there any
mention of the body composed of "many members" (1 Cor.
No person becomes a member
of the body by any virtue of his own, by any works of his own, nor even
by any will of his own; only by the will of God (Rom. 9:16). All members
of the body were foreknown to God before the foundation or disruption of
the world (Eph. 1:4), and they were predestinated to be conformed to the
image of His Son. They are called of God, justified by faith in grace
alone, and they will be glorified according to His purpose (Rom. 8:30).
Paul was called outside the
land, his sphere of service was among the nations. He was not seeking
God, but was saved by a display of pure grace, hitherto unknown. It is
to Paul that the secrets, or "mysteries" are disclosed for the
nations. The secret of Christ was previously hidden but is now revealed.
(Eph. 1:9, 3:4; Col. 1:26, 4:3); for only to Paul was revealed the
secret economy, the present administration of grace (Eph. 3:9), an
absolute secret hid in God, concerning the members of Christ's body, of
which He, Christ, is the head. (Eph. 1:1-12).
This Ecclesia did not come
on the scene during the Ministry of John the Baptist; the earthly
ministry of our Lord, during the advent of the out-pouring of Holy
Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2), but positively after the ascension of
Christ and the call and conversion of Saul of Tarsus to whom was
revealed the secret, concerning the evangel to the nations, of which he,
Paul, became the dispenser or minister; the only true church which God
our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, recognize today.
THE BRIDE - (John 3:29).
John the Baptist is the last of the prophets. Hence he is not of those
who constitute the Bride of the Lamb. Nor is the church of this
administration of grace the Bride (Eph. 3:2). It is described as the
"Body of Christ" (Romans 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:23).
Christ is the Bridegroom.
The Baptized Israelites are the Bride. John the Baptist is the
friend. The faithful in Israel will enjoy the earthly bliss of the New
Jerusalem. The twelve tribes, and the twelve apostles of the Lambkin.
The nations are a part of the Bride.
THE 144,000 - (Rev. 7:4-5
and Rev. 14:1-5) may well he a part of the Bride of the Lamb. They are
all male taken from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). If they
are of the Bride class they will be a part also of the "New
Jerusalem" that marvelous City of God that will be on the New Earth
and the New Heaven designed to bless all the families of the earth (Rev.
THE GREAT COMPANY - (Rev.
7:9-17) evidently will not be of the Bride class, but will be given a
place subordinated to that of the Bride (Rev. 7:15). They would seem to
be of the children of Israel that were scattered among all the nations,
tribes and peoples and languages, a persecuted lot whom the Lord Jesus
will rescue, and will be bringing them through the great tribulation at
the end of this eon (Rev. 7:9-15).
(Greek, anastasis, up-standing)
This refers to resurrection
of the body (John 11:25-26). Should be distinguished from rousing,
ROUSING (Greek, egeirõ) of the
soul. The awakening of the soul also the word rendered in the Concordant
Version VIVIFY is a distinct word which means full life, life beyond the
reach of death, immortality, incorruption, see John 5:21, 1 Cor. 15:23,
1 Tim. 6:13.
The resurrection of the dead is the great
expectation set before us in the evangel for all mankind. It is based
upon the fact of our Lord Jesus having died for the sins of humanity,
has been roused for their justification. Hence all who have gone into
death will be resurrected in order to receive the benefits accruing from
the sacrificial work of Jesus the Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-24; John
Some believers teach that those who die
are alive in the spirit realm. If this were a fact that the dead
are alive somewhere, then there is no need for them to be
Jesus said, "All that are in their
graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth" (John 5:28). Paul
said, "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just
and the unjust" (Acts 24:15).
There is not one general resurrection, but
many in the Scriptures, to take place in order as follows:
(a) - THE RAPTURE - The resurrection of the
body members is not included with other resurrections. It does not
displace any others, and it does not invalidate any timing which the
Scriptures elsewhere testify about resurrections. The separate
resurrection of the "body church" became part of a new
revelation, inserted in the midst of Scripture, which were otherwise
complete in themselves. It does not change what the Scriptures say about
other resurrections. All who are called and saved from Paul's ministry
of the nations (gentiles), to the coming of our Lord in the air (1
Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52) are included in this separate
resurrection. They will be seated "in the heavenly places in Christ
Jesus" (Eph. 2:6), and through them "the manifold wisdom of
God" will be made known to the principalities and powers in the
heavenly places (Eph. 3:10). What a glorious, heavenly destiny for the
members of Christ's body!
It is interesting for us to observe that the
word "rapture" is not employed in the Scripture as such. It
nevertheless, aptly describes the experience that the saints will have,
when the Lord in descending in the air blows the trumpet to call both
the living and the dead saints, and together they will he snatched away,
at the same time, for a meeting of the Lord in the air, (outer space) (1
Thess. 4:13-18). This is said only of the members of the Body of Christ,
whose destiny is in the celestials (Eph. 1:1-4).
(b) - The First Resurrection - (Rev.
20:4-5). This resurrection takes place before the Millennial reign of
Christ, just after the great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21-22). It is also
called "the resurrection of life" (John 5:28,29; Dan. 12:2;
Acts 7). Stephen and such others (Rev. 20:4, 6). They will reign with
Christ for a thousand years. This is the Resurrection of the Just.
(c) - The Resurrection of Judgment - (Rev.
20:11-15). This is the Resurrection of the Unjust. They who come forth
to the resurrection of judgment will have no right to the tree of life,
neither can they enter the holy city, the new Jerusalem, until they too
"wash their robes" as others have done before. When all who
die in Adam have been "made alive," - "vivified,"
given life beyond the reach of death - through Christ Jesus, all
resurrections will be complete, including the resurrection of judgment.
"Then comes the end or Consummation," at the completion of the
ages or eonian times, when Christ delivers the kingdom to God the
Father, having put down every rule and every authority and power (1 Cor.
Heb. 9:27 Acts 17:31
God's judgments, however
severe, we are made to understand are corrective, salutary and remedial.
This is set forth in Isaiah 26:9 to wit, "when Thy judgments are in
the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."
See Lamentations 3:33.
Those afflictions and chastisements which
God brings upon his children are for their trial and instruction (1
Peter 4:17). God's merciful moderation in chastising His people (Jer.
10:24). God's decrees and purpose concerning nations or persons (Romans
There is NOT one general judgment only, but
thany judgments in Scripture. There were judgments in the past; there
will be judgments in the future. There are judgments of nations and
there are judgments of indivdiuals also. All are not judged at one and
the same time. Not all judgments are final. All judgments contribute to
the realization of God's ultimate universal goal "As one man's
trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of
righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men" (Rom. 5:18).
The future judgments are as follows -
FIRST - Members of the Body of Christ
are to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, "For all of us
must be manifested in front of the dais of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:10, C.
V.), not on the earth but in the heavens, after they have been caught
away to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17). That will be prior to
the judgment of the world.
SECOND - Judgment of the Household of God
(1 Pet. 4:7,17; Rev. 16:1; Rev. 7).
THIRD - Judgment of the Living Nations - (Matt.
25:31-32; Rev. 14:7,9,10).
FOURTH - Judgment of the Former Dead - (Rev.
20:11-15) Those to be judged at the Great White Throne are all who come
forth to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:29). They comprise all who
have died as Unbelievers in every foregoing age, from those who die as
sinners, during the thousand years period or Millennium back to Cain who
killed Abel outside the Garden of Eden, including Sodom and Gomorrah,
and all other nations before them. This judgment will include the former
citizens of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum whose responsibility will
be all the greater because of the mighty works which Jesus did in their
midst (Matt. 11:20-24).
FIFTH - The Lake of Fire - The Second
Death (Rev. 21:8) The detention in the lake of fire may well continue a
longer time for some than for others, but it will be completed for all
during the ages, under the reign of Christ, before He delivers the
Kingdom to God the Father, and God becomes All in all.
These distinctions of judgment in respect to
the various degrees of responsibility can then take into account such
things as the age in which the individual has lived, and the
enlightenment he was granted or of which he was deprived. For example - Persons
in their tender years who met violent death at the hands of others, or
even from natural causes, and did not hear of the glorious gospel of
their salvation in its purity, all these will be graciously considered
in that age or eon when they are resurrected, because the Judge of all
the earth will judge in righteousness.
He can make due and generous provision for
the billions of heathens who have never heard of the name of Christ as
the only name under heaven by which men may be saved.
These distinctions of judgment make wise and
loving provision also for the myriads of others who have died in infancy
or in tender years of childhood before they could receive salvation by
faith. The precious blood of Christ Jesus avails for them. Here is a
clear case why God's judgments are not vindictive, but corrective,
salutary, and remedial. The judge of all the earth will do right.
It is reasonable, too, that many who have
offended and are alienated from God by false and unscriptural teachings,
dishonorable to His name, will hear the first pure gospel of the Lord
Jesus Christ as they come before the Great White Throne. Many of such
may well acknowledge Him then and receive Him as their Saviour and Lord.
This should not be considered as is commonly and erroneously termed,
"a second chance". This will be perhaps their first and only
real call of the spirit of God, because Jesus said, "No man can
come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John
Every man therefore that hath heard,
and hath learned of the Father, "cometh unto me" (John
6:44-45), but the time will come, when "at the name of Jesus"
every knee will bow, "in heaven and on earth, and under the
earth" and "every tongue will confess (acclaiming) that Jesus
Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11, Rev.
Millennial Kingdom (1000 years) Rev. 20:
The long awaited Millennial
kingdom of Christ will come in the fourth eon, immediately after the
Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:29-31), "and they shall see the Son of
man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"
The curse upon the earth (Gen. 3:17) will be
removed; "the desert shall blossom as a rose" (Isa. 35:1);
"there shall be showers of blessing" (Ezek. 34:26). The work
of restitution of all things will ultimately usher in the Day of the
Lord which last "for a thousand years."
"A day with the Lord is a thousand
years and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8).
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on
earth" (Matt. 6:10), will be fulfilled. Jerusalem has been God's
choice to rule over the nations and over the whole earth, in the eons of
The "Great Tribulation, such as was not
since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall
be" (hereafter) (Matt. 21:21-22) precedes the Millennial reign of
The Chosen People (Israel) will be turning
to the Lord being "grafted into their own olive tree" (Rom.
11:11-29). They will suffer persecution even to being "beheaded for
the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God" (Rev. 20:4), and they
are resurrected with all the other "just" of all ages (except
the members of Christ's Body), "and they lived and reigned with
Christ a thousand years . . . This is the first (former) resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first (former)
resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand
years" (on the earth) (Rev. 20:4:6).
Whilst the saints or "just ones"
will be raised, and reign with Christ as the Millennium begins on the
earth, we the members of the body of Christ, will have already been
caught up in the Celestials, to be forever with the Lord, before His
earthly reign begins (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-52).
Christ's reign is not in operation now, this
will demand His actual presence; it is not a job for the church to do
now. Many sects of christians have a vague conception, of the kingly
work of Christ, during and beyond the Millennial reign. His sacrificial
work, the Cross, and His kingly work, the Throne, is separate in time
(Rev. 11:15; 1 Cor. 15:25).
Thus the kingdom of the heavens of which
John the Baptist, our Lord and his apostles heralded up to the
Pentecostal era, and those believing Jews and proselites to whom Peter
first ministered during the transitional period, will have its complete
fulfillment in the coming Millennial kingdom of Christ, including all of
the saved of Israel in preceeding generations, and those who shall have
come through the Great Tribulation and have rinsed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lambkin" (Rev. 7:14).
World - (Greek, Kosmos)
An order or system, such as a world order,
and thus it is sometimes confused with "eon," or age, which is
also loosely translated "world." It is related to the word kosmeö,
meaning to adorn or decorate. In Matt. 4:8, Satan showed Christ all the
kingdoms of this kosmos, or world system, and offered these to Christ if
He would worship him. Satan could do this because he is the god of this
eon, or age, during which the present order prevails on earth. Scripture
references: John 1:6-9, 8:12; Eph. 2:1-2; 2 Peter 2:4-5,9; "and the
whole world (kosmos) lieth in the wicked one" (1 John 5:19).
God's Chosen People Rom. 11
Exod. 6:7 - Num. 23:9 - De. 4:37 - 2 Sam. 7:23 - Psa. 135:1 - Psa. 45:4
When God said to Abraham
that "in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth
be blessed," the children of Jacob, or Israel, were the ones God
had in mind that would be the earthly seed to effect this blessing of
all the families of the earth.
Hence the selection of
Israel is a part of the overall purpose of God. And every human being is
inseparably bound up in that choice. For how otherwise will we (all) he
blessed? It is not that Israel is blessed and all the rest of mankind
are cursed, but that they are blessed and saved that all the others
through them should be blessed and saved, in short, they are chosen that
they may be used as instruments to bless all the families of the earth
as promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:3,7).
There is no question that
the nation of Israel is placed in prominence in the Hebrew Scriptures,
also in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament so-called). Israel has the
monopoly of the blessings recorded in Romans 9:4-5. In flesh, Christ
belongs exclusively to them, no other nation can lay claim to the
Fathers, the Covenants, the Law, the Priestly worship and the Promises;
they do not belong to the church, but to Israel according to
The proclamation of the gospel of the
kingdom, beginning in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Sarnaria, spread
to the limits of the land (Acts 1:8), and reached beyond to the
Dispersion. Israel sought blessing through law keeping, but did not get
it. Those chosen in grace alone found it (Rom. 9:30-33).
The light of God is no longer with Israel
but with the nations, but all the light is derived from the Scriptures
which came through Israel. In Rom. 11, Jehovah is already gathering
Israel back to their land with a view to grafting them into their own
olive tree. When Israel again regains its proper place, all Israel shall
be saved. Then the whole nation will know God, and they will become the
light of the world, as they were always intended to be (Rom. 11:25-29).
The church does not supplant
Israel. The church is not spiritual Israel: The church is
a new Creation in Christ Jesus. Let us always remember that Israel is
still beloved, whatever its present attitude toward God. We may in some
measure grasp God's goal, but the process by which He attains it is too
complex for our feeble minds (Rom. 11:33-36).
The Gentiles - (Nations)
The gentiles are all those
who are not of the tribes of Israel. This includes all the other
offsprings of Abraham, that is Ishmael, Esau and the rest (Isa. 60:3;
To Israel the Lord saith, "I will also
give thee for a light to the gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation
unto the end of the earth" (Isa. 49:6). "The Gentiles shall
come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" )Isa.
60:3,5,11). Simeon the just, filled with Holy Spirit said among other
things, " . . . a light to lighten the Gentiles" (Luke 2:32).
All the light that the Gentiles or nations will enjoy now, and in the
future, is derived from the Jews.
Dispensation, (Greek, Diakonia),
work done for the welfare of others; that which is served out (Luke
10:40); apportionment of (1 Cor. 12:5); Paul assigned a dispensation (1
A dispensation and an
administration operate together. Administration is stewardship 1 Cor.
4:1, dispensation is to give out that of which you are made a steward.
The Eons - (Ages)
Our Greek-English Lexicons
usually define "OLAM" in the Hebrew, and "Aion" in
the Greek, as an indefinite period of time . . . similar to an age.
"Aion" (eon) . . .
means a period of time between two great physical and moral cataclysms
of the earth and its inhabitants. There are four such great physical and
moral changes, three of which directly affect the history of the human
race, on the earth, namely: (1) the Disruption, Gen. 1:2; (2) The
Deluge, Gen. 6; (3) The Day of Wrath or Indignation, Romans 2:5; (4) and
the judgment of fire that will usher in the new Heavens and the New
Earth (Rev. 20 and 21).
The eons are set within
bounds in the past by the times before the Eons began ... and in the
future by the Consummation (the end). Though these times deal with the
longest periods in Scripture, nevertheless, there is always a beginning,
and an ending.
The "Eonian Times"
are the times of evil. At the beginning of the "Eons" sin and
evil are introduced, and will continue its course until the end of the
"Eons," or consummation.
This purely Greek word,
spelled with English letters (Eon) , is used in the Scriptures to
qualify life, salvation, glory, judgment, (or chastening), etc. (See
Roman 6:23; Heb. 5:9, 6:2; and 2 Tim. 2:10, C.V.)
Eon (noun) is a long period
of time commonly mis-translated world, eternal, everlasting, forever,
etc. There are five distinct eons indicated in Scripture. The Cross of
Christ is the central event of the eons. The two best eons are yet
future in prophetic Scripture. The first of these is the well-known
"Millennium," or 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth. This
will be followed by the "Eon of the Eons" ending at the
Scripture references: - Gal. 1:3-5; Eph.
2:2, 3:8-11; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 9:26.
Eonian an adjective (Greek Aionios)
pertaining to the eons. Scripture references: - John 17:1-3; Romans
5:17; Matt. 25:41-46; Romans16:25-27; 1 Tim. 1:15-16.
Baptism in Holy Spirit and Fire
Matt. 3:11, Acts 2:1-4
BAPTISM IN HOLY SPIRIT is in
this administration the one baptism that is enduring, it is the inward
spiritual cleansing, whereby the gifts and graces of the Spirit are
really and actually bestowed ("He will be baptizing you in Holy
Spirit," Matt. 3:11, C.V.)
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
is the real baptism, for it is the surest proof that one has passed from
death unto life in Christ Jesus. As regards the ecclesia, the body of
Christ, it unites us to Christ and to one another for we are made to
imbibe one spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).
There are three baptisms in
Matt. 3:11, water, spirit, and fire. John used water only, and
this rite continued all through our Lord's ministry on earth. But after
His resurrection He told them, "John, indeed baptizes in water, yet
you shall be baptized in Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts
1:5). From Pentecost onward, two baptisms obtained.
During this administration
of grace, there is only one baptism, all in Spirit. Water baptism is not
essential to salvation in this era of grace (Eph. 4:5-6; Col. 2:12; 1
At first, those who were
baptized in water received the baptism of Holy Spirit also. In the case
of Cornelius he received the Spirit before he was baptized in water
(Acts 10:44-48). Now the one enduring baptism is Spirit, suited to those
who are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the celestials (Eph.
1:4). "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. 4:5). In one
Spirit we all were baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13) - This baptism
is for cleansing. Pentecostal baptism to Israel, was for power (Acts
1:8), to minister in Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the limit of the land
(Palestine); beyond this they had no commission. Paul was called outside
the land and commissioned for the regions beyond (Rom. 11:13).
THE BAPTISM OF FIRE, is the burning of the
chaff. Those whom Christ does not baptize in Holy Spirit, in grace, He
will baptize in fire, in judgment, during that specified age, so that
the judgment of fire does not determine their ultimate destiny after the
ages have run their course. No believer is baptized with holy Spirit and
fire as is commonly proclaimed by so-called Pentecostal groups. All true
believers are baptized with Holy Spirit, and those like the Pharisees
and Sadducees will experience a baptism of fire as they deserve.
"He will be burning up the chaff with inextingushable fire."
No true believer is classified as chaff, they are the "wheat
Baptism in Water
Baptism as practiced in
Paul's early ministry was a symbol of unity with Christ in His death,
burial, and resurrection. It was a part of the ministration of God at
that time. In 1 Cor. 10:1-4, the redemption of Israel out of Egypt, was
typical of the spiritual deliverence which is ours in Christ. The saving
of Noah and his family in the flood, is taken as a type of baptism (1
Pet. 3:20-21). In each of these cases the important fact is, that the
people were not immersed, they were kept from being engulfed in the
water. It is a symbol of burial.
In 1 Cor. 1:14-17, it seems that Paul in his
early ministry like our Lord (John 4:2), did not usually baptize with
his own hands. As Stephanas was the first to believe in Corinth, there
may have been no one else to baptize him. Crispus was the most prominent
Jew in the City, hence the Apostle officiated personally when he was
baptized. After this we do not read of his baptizing any one else. Paul
does say; and it should be noted, these important words: "For
Christ does not commission me to be baptizing, but to be bringing the
evangel, not in wisdom of words, less the cross of Christ may be made
void" (1 Cor. 1:17, C.V.).
The Apostle Paul says again, "for as
many as are baptized into Christ put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27).
"As many as" shows that not all the Galatians had been
baptized by water, but since faith came, all have the same high place of
Water baptism as such, has its beginning
with John the Baptizer (Mark 1:4-5). It was a baptism of repentance for
the pardon of sins, and it was primarily for Israel only.
The water baptism that was instituted after
the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was especially for Israel,
the nation who crucified the Lord Jesus (see Acts 2:37-38). John's
baptism, therefore, ceased, as it is evident from the statement in Acts
Water baptism now no longer applies as a
command. It serves no useful purpose as it did then, during the Kingdom
proclamation, when Baptism with Repentance, were the two essentials for
entrance into the Kingdom (1 Pet. 3:21 - A figure or representation).
Even Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before he was baptized in water,
which is also significant (Acts 10:44-48).
This church, therefore, is not dogmatic in
the performance of this rite, since the revelation of the secret of the
evangel, of our spiritual position has been made known to us; our
interest, our expectations, are no longer on earth, but in the celestial
regions. One Spirit binds us together and unites us to Christ. "For
in one Spirit we oil are baptized into one body ... and are all made to
imbibe one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13), thus we are all vitally joined
to the living organism, of which Christ Himself is Head.
The Unpardonable Sin
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
Matt. 12:31-32, Heb. 10:26-29 (C.V.)
"Every sin and blasphemy shall be pardoned
men, yet the blashemy of the Spirit shall not be pardoned . . . it
shall not be pardoned him, neither in this eon (age) nor in that which
is impending." Matt. 12:31-32. (CV.)
"For if we sin willfully after that we have
received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice
for sins," etc. Heb. 10:26-29 (K.J.V.)
That "Unpardonable Sin" is a sin
that God cannot and will never forgive, is the interpretation given by
most christians. What a distorted picture! What a violent contradiction
of the purpose and character of God! What a terrible stain on the divine
Name! Looking again into the Word of God, what kind of teaching can it
be, that lulls us poor fallen creatures to forgive - "not until
seven times, hut seventy times seven" Matt. 18:22, then the great
Teacher Himself is supposed to be barely forgiving even once? Can we be
more forgiving than God? (Eph. 4:32; Matt. 5:48) He is, "The Lord,
the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth" (Exod. 34:6).
Israel as a nation was set aside for a time
as Paul declared to them in the book of Acts (13:46; 28:25-28). It was
then that a hardening came upon part of Israel, all except those who
received Paul's new gospel, the revelation of a secret which had been
kept hidden "for ages and generations" (Col. 1:26). For Israel
as a nation, this hardening of their hearts will prevail until the
ministry which was instituted by Paul has been completed among the
Gentiles (Rom. 11:25). Until then "the powers of the ages to
come" have been suspended also. Those who had been led to
repentance because they had witnessed such visible signs in their midst
could not be renewed to repentance after the signs were no longer
manifested to them. Their faith vanished when they saw no further
evidence with the eye of flesh.
Jesus had previously said that such should
not be for given either in this eon (age) or in the eon (age) to come
(Matt. 12:32), but they will be forgiven in the age following the
Millennium, that is, in the New Heavens and the New Earth (Rev. 21:1-4).
Too often is this Scripture (Matt. 12:32) misinterpreted as if Jesus had
said that they will not be forgiven at any time, something he did not
say. These apostate ones will remain among the unbelieving dead for the
rest of this age and for the age to come. They do not come forth to
judgment until after the thousand years. That judgment (The Great White
Throne) will be severe for some, yet it is not vindictive, rather, a
righteous judgment which eventuates in the salvation of the sinner. They
will then be saved (John 12:32-33).
Death - State of the Dead
Its origin (Gen.
2:17) "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely
die." (to die shall you be dying. C. V.) and in chapter 3:19 the
penalty was enforced. "In the sweat of your face shall you eat your
bread, till your return to the ground, for from it are you taken, for
soil you are, and to soil are you returning." (C. V.) From the
garden of Eden until now, all false cults and Eastern religions,
Spiritism and mediums, are based on the false doctrine, that "The
dead are alive." Also many so-called christian religionists
teach that the righteous dead go directly to heaven at death, and the
wicked dead go directly to a burning hell for all eternity, because they
believe the dead are not dead but alive.
The Scriptures say, "in
Adam all are dying" (1 Cor. 15:23, C.V.). "What living
man shall not see death?" (Psa. 89:48). Paul says "the wages
[penalty] of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Death came in by sin, and
is passed upon all men, for all have sinned (Romans 5:12).
Death is therefore, an enemy and as such,
the Scripture says, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed
[abolished C.V.] is death" (1 Cor. 15:26). The dead do not
exist as disembodied spirits or as immortal souls. Death is not a person
although spoken of as such as a figure of speech. Death therefore is a
complete dissolution of the soilish body. "The dead know not
anything" (Eccl. 9:10, Acts 13:36). Asleep in the dust [soil] (Dan,
12:2; Job 17:13-16; Ilosea. 13:14).
(Greek, Hades - Hebrew, Sheol - the Unseen)
This word most commonly
signifies the grave, or the place or state of the dead (Gen. 37:35,
42:38; Psa. 16:10, Psa. 55:45; Jonah 2:2; Psa. 139:8).
There is no "hell" as such in the
Hebrew or Greek Scriptures. "Hell" is actually from an old
Anglo-Saxon word meaning "unseen." For the "unseen"
in the Hebrew, the word is "Sheol" and in the Greek, the word
is, "Hades"; it is rendered "hell" thirty-two times
and "grave" thirty-two times and "pit" three times
in our common version, the so-called, Authorized Version.
There is no fire in hell, in the places
above mentioned in the Scriptures; many of God's believing saints
desired to go there when their life was fully spent, such as Elijah, Job
and others, so they could find rest (Job 3:2-22; 1 Kings 19:4). Even
Jesus lay in the unseen (the grave) for three days (Psa. 16:10), both
the good and the bad go to the grave (sheol), the unseen, at
(Greek, Gehenna - the Valley of Hinnon)
Matt. 18:8-9 - Mark 9:43-48 - Luke 16:23
The Greek word Gehenna (Hell
or Hell-fire in K.J.V.) was the place just below the city of Jerusalem
where the offal (refuse) was incinerated, it was also called the valley
of Hinnon, where the bodies of criminals were cast after execution.
"Into the Gehenna of fire" (hell-fire).
Its fire and worms are
literal, for the city refuse are burned there. No living beings are cast
into this incinerator. It is the worms which do not die that feed on the
carcases of executed criminals. The fire is kept burning at all times in
the valley. This will be the place where bodies of executed malefactors
will be east during the coming kingdom era.
2 Peter 2:4 - Jude 6
caverns" of Tartarus, are distinct from Hades, the Unseen, from
Gehenna, and from the Lake of Fire. They are the temporary dungeons of
spirits. Jude says, "the messengers who kept not their own
sovereignty, but leave their own habitation, He has kept in
imperceptible bonds under gloom for the judgment of the great day"
(verse 6, C. V.).
It is unfortunate that this
word, Tartarus, is translated "hell" in our Common Version in
its only occurrence, 2 Peter 2:4.
The Lake of Fire - The Second Death
The Lake of Fire - the
Second Death, is not a literal physical death like the death resulting
in Adam's transgression; but is the CHASTENING JUDGMENTS pictured by the
Lake of Fire burning with sulphur. It will be an instrument of judgment
that will come into operation particularly at the period of the Great
White Throne Judgment, though it would seem to be in existence about the
time preceeding the thousand year reign of Christ (Rev. 19:20). Only in
the Book of Revelation is it mentioned.
"The judgments of the
Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Psa. 19:9). The second
death judgments are the judgments which will cause the inhabitants of
the world to LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS when they are in the earth. They will
burn out all evil and sin which belong to the flesh or carnal nature.
The second death is not just a repetition of the "first"
death, but it is that which compensates for all the deficiencies of the
"first." Indeed the "first" death is destroyed by
means of the "second" death. "And death and the unseen
(hell) were cast into the lake of fire." This is the second death - the
lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14). The fact that the "second"
death is not a recurrence of the present death is quite evident also
from comparing Rev. 21:4 and 21:8. Death and Hades together are cast
into the lake of fire but death survives even Hades, "the
unseen." All the unclean in the lake of fire are still in the power
of death, but even they are visible to spiritual discernment and no one
then remains any longer in "the unseen" (hell). Yet death is
not destroyed until the last prisoner in the lake of fire has received
Salvation in Christ at the consummation of the ages. Then, but not
before, "Death is swallowed up in victory." Then, "O
death, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:54-55).
Until then all of the
unclean in the lake of fire are yet dead in their sins but the
Scriptures are emphatic that they will he made alive (vivified) when
death no longer survives.
As in Adam all are dying, thus also in
Christ SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE. 1 Cor. 15:22.
SATAN (Hebrew, Adversary),
also called the Dragon (Devil). This evil One is fully and clearly
identified in Rev. 12:9 as follows: - "The great Dragon
was cast out, the ancient Serpent called Adversary and
Satan, who is deceiving the whole inhabited earth." The
same is repeated in chapter 20:2 which relates to the time of the coming
eon when he will be bound a thousand years.
According to the inspired
Word of God, the Scriptures, Satan is a created being. He too is created
by God through Christ, for without Christ, Who is spoken of as the Word,
"not even one thing came into being which has come into being"
The apostle John, in 1 John
3:8, speaks of Satan as having sinned from the beginning. Jesus said,
"He was a rnan-killer (murderer) from the beginning" (John
8:44). The father of lies. It has been a perplexing problem to account
for Satan without incriminating God Himself. It is usual to insist that
he was created perfect, and at a later stage fell into sin. But this is
no real relief. The impulse of sin, in that case, would then come from
without instead of within, and it, in turn, demands an explanation. The
Scriptures plainly teach that he was created a slanderer and a Satan.
From his very beginning his work has been to oppose and destroy. The
purpose for which the Son of God was manifested was to undo what the
slanderer - Satan - had done. Thus it is that the Son of God will
completely annul the acts of the Devil.
The Destiny of Satan
Our Lord Jesus foretold the
destiny of the Adversary, because he knew the spiritual victory that the
Cross would accomplish at the conclusion of the eons.
In order to temporarily
estrange humanity for their necessary schooling relative to "good
and evil," God required a diabolically subtle, and clever deceiver
to test humanity. Satan was thus permitted to enter Eden's Garden and
cause Adam and Eve to eat of the "tree of knowledge of good and
evil." He has been man's adversary, and will be until he is cast
into the Lake of Fire and Divine burning, where he will remain for the
eons of the eons (Rev. 20:10). That is a very long and tremendous period
of correction. It is just however, because his offense far exceeds that
of humanity; and the Judge of all the earth will do right.
As to his destiny our Lord
said, (Luke 4:5-12) "Go behind mc Satan, It is written, the Lord
your God shall you be worshiping, and to Him only shall you be offerlog
divine service." (Con. Ver.)
"It is written" is
the sword of the spirit, that destroys the insinuations of the
Slanderer. On every point in which the first man failed God, the second
Man, though tempted many times more severely, stood the test
triumphantly. Had He not been the Son of God the trial would have been
too great. Satan's doom is in the Lake of Fire (Matt. 25:41; Rev.
20:10). The Consummation is at the close of the ages (eonian times). The
reign of Christ is necessary to cope with evil, when evil is banislied
Christ's rule retires. When the universe has been purged of all other
evil, then death itself becomes inoperative and yields up its victims
out of the Lake of Fire - The second death. Satan and his messengers
have been judged, and subdued. No more death; not till then is it true,
that all are made alive in Christ.
The universality of Christ's
subjection of all under His feet is evident with but one exception - God
Himself (1 Cor. 15:27-28). "Who is subjecting the universe to Him.
Now whenever the universe may be subject to Him, then the Son Himself
also shall be subject to Him Who subjects the universe to Him, that God
may be All in all." God will be All in all when death is abolished,
at the consummation. A complete reconciliation, so that the words of
Jesus will be fulfilled, "The Lord your God shall you be
worshiping, and to Him only shall you be offering divine service"
(Luke :1:8, C. V.)
The Hebrew word translated
"everlasting," eternal," "forever" and
"ever," is Olam, is translated "in old time,"
in Josh. 24:2. To use the English translation everlastingly or eternally
would be absurd in this verse. "Your fathers dwelt on the other
side of the flood in old time" (or for an age) presents no
problem; but, "Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood
everlastingly" (or eternally) is preposterous.
The word Olam
occurs twice in Psalm 41:13 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from
everlasting and to everlasting." If everlasting
means without beginning or ending, it means eternal. How can one add
eternity to eternity? But if we translate correctly, "The Lord God
of Israel from age to age" the mind can grasp the thought.
The Greek equivalent in the New Testament is aiõn-Eon,
frequently translated forever, and when it occurs twice (as it
does 20 times) it is translated for ever and ever. But the mind
cannot add for ever to for ever, except to say, one
forever ends and another forever begins; but how simple and
understanding it is, when rendered from age to age.
In Heb. 1:8 we read,
"Thy throne O God is for ever and ever," but this should read
"for the age of the age," or "eon of the eon." In
Matt. 25:46, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but
the righteous into life eternal." Dr. Young's Concordance to the
Bible, translates the word punishment as meaning restraint, and
Dr. Bullinger renders it, to curtail, to prune, to check,
The Concordant Version of
the New Testament renders it chastening. We may therefore read,
"These shall go away into age-lasting chastening, but the righteous
into age-lasting life." Age-lasting life denotes, a life of service
for those who are recipients, for they will be with Christ to reign with
Him for the eons, but when the eons are over, and God becomes All in
all, we should remember that God having given us immortality, our life
goes on endlessly (1 Cor. 15:53-54).
Ransom - Redeem
"Ransom" (Greek, Lutroo),
loosen. It is used nearly fifty times for each of two Hebrew words, gal
(redeem) and Phde (ransom).
"Ransom" is used only in relation to the
claims of Jehovah, especially as to the firstborn of man and beast
(Exodus 13:13, 15. 34:20, Numbers 3:46-49), vows (Rev. 27:3; 1 Sam.
14:45) involving death. "Redeem" is used of human rights as
property (Lev. 25:25, 54, 27:13, 33) and the avenger (Num. 5:8).
Ransom involves the Divine, redeem the human, the
former is religious in scope, the latter social and seldom used in the
later Scriptures. Christ redeemed Israel (Luke 24:21), the saints (Titus
2:14, C. V.).
Ransom is for all (1 Tim. 2:6). Only the saints of
all dispensations are redeemed. The ransom work will be accomplished
when all are ransomed from the power of the grave (Hosea 13:14). None
will be lost. All will be set free or loosened as the word implies.
Predestination - to
designate beforehand (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5-11; Acts 4:28). To
determine before, to ordain.
This is expressed
differently, yet means the same thing when we are told that the saints
were chosen in Christ, before the disruption of the world (Eph. 1:4),
and in 2 Tim. 1:9, were saved, called of God, before times eonian, and
adds, yet now is being manifested.
Our destiny was fixed by God
from the beginning, long before we could have any part in it. He first
loved us, and has included us in His vast purpose, of which we form a
Redemption - Deliverance
As redemption, redeemed
(verb) and ransom have already been treated we need only add that
redemption is seldom used in the Greek Scriptures (see Luke 1:68, 2:38;
The strengthened form of
this Greek word "Lutron" which is "Apo-lutron" or
"Apo-lutrosis" which means not merely "loosen," but
(apo) from-loosen, that is, deliverance. Apo-lutron, then is, from-loose
or deliverance. But unfortunately it is not distinguished from lutron
which relates to redemption.
Deliverance includes the
full fruition of a ransom or redemption (See Roman 8:23; Heb. 11:36;
Rom.3:24; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph, 1:7; Col. 1:14).
Man's Free Will
It is claimed that every man
has a free will. Many religionists says, "Man is a free moral
agent." Whoever coined that phrase surely has little or no
knowledge of the Word of God.
We are told of those who
say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue
there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not
what will be on the morrow. For what is your life? it is even as a
vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanish away"
Man is free to will, purpose,
choose, plan or decide to do anything he wishes,
but God controls his actions. It is said that man is a creature
of circumstances. The fact is, that God directs and controls the
circumstances, be they good or evil.
In Eph. 1:11 we are told
that God "worketh all things after the Counsel of His own will."
All things, not some things, things good or things evil.
In Prov. 16:9 we read, "A man's heart deviseth his way, but the
Lord directeth his steps." In Rev. 17:12-18 we read, "ten
(evil) kings . . . make war with the Lamb," of God . . . and
"God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will . . . until the
words of God shall be fulfilled."
When the Pharisees decided, or willed,
to murder Jesus, we read in John 7:30, "they sought to take Him,
hut no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come."
Eventually God's appointed hour for this foul deed came,
and the Jewish leaders and people accomplished their so-called will
and purpose, to murder Jesus. After our Lord had been raised from the
dead, and ascended to his Father, the inspired writer states, "of a
truth against thy holy child Jesus, Whom thou hast anointed, both Herod
and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were
gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel
determined before to be done" (Acts 4:27).
The fact that God frequently brings to pass
the evil that men will do, in no way excuses men for willing
to do evil things. To will or even to desire to do wrong
(though the purpose may not be carried out into effect) is a serious
thing. It is therefore, a serious responsibility to possess a free
will, even though the actions of all men are under God's control.
God will not deprive men in the next eon
(age) of their freedom to will. He well knows how, in due time,
to change their hearts from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezek.
11:19). God has no use for robots or automatons. He desires and will
obtain the free will love and praise and gratitude of all His
creatures in due time (1 Tim. 2:6).
In the matter of salvation, the same
principle is used as given here in Romans, it is God's sovereign will
(not man's), as Paul says in Romans 9:11, "that the purpose of God,
according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth.
. . . So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that
runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." "For in grace are you
saved through faith, and this is not out of you, it is God's oblation,
not of works, lest anyone should be boasting" (Eph. 2:8-9, C. V.).
Women's Place in the Ministry
Hand-maids of Christ
To truly understand the will
and purpose of God our Father, with respect to the place of women in the
church or ecclesia of Christ, the Sacred Scriptures which are our guide
should be read in the light of the way of life among Eastern peoples,
and not as is the custom among the peoples of the West.
The religions of the East
were powerless to regenerate the heart and to purify the life of anyone,
and however excellent some of their teachings may appear to be in
theory, they utterly failed in practice to carry out their ideals, and
to give to women their proper place in society and in their religious
life. True, there were goddesses and spirit mediums, but of these
degenerate practices we are not concerned.
Christianity on the other
hand, which is of God, has effectively changed the lives of men and
women, liberating, enobling and enriching them in their way of life
tremendously. This liberation and enoblement are more marked among women
than among men. Hence at the first, the apostle Paul had to deal with
the question of women's place in the church wisely, so as to avoid
contention and confusion, with the view of setting things in oider (1
We may safely assume, that
no record of the history of the church, tells half the story of the
accomplishments of women among them. No greater voice on earth has
championed the cause of the devoted, spiritually-minded women more than
that of the great Apostle Paul. We way be sure that women played their
part, in every great cause or crisis in the affairs of the church,
throughout the centuries. Have you forgotten the women who ministered to
our Lord Jesus? (See Luke 8:1-3; Mark 15:40-41; Matt. 27:55-56).
Returning to Paul, the
Apostle, no wonder he writes, saying "now I am commending to you
Phoebe our sister being a servant (a deaconess) also of the ecclesia (or
church) in Cenchrea, that you should be receiving her in the Lord
worthily of the saints, and may stand by her in whatever she
may be needing you, for she became a patroness of many as well as of
It is interesting too, to
note the many women that are mentioned in this chapter (Romans 16)
namely, Phoebe, Priscilla, Mary, Junia, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, the
mother of Rufus, Julia the sister of Nercus, Olymphas and all the saints
with them (Rom. 16:12-14).
Now all these women, be it
noted, are commended by Paul, and are regarded by him as persons of
worth, Divinely endowed with the spirit of grace and of love. Persons
who rendered excellent service in the cause of God and Christ. Add to
these noble women of the church, Paul mentions Lois and Eunice,
Timothy's mother and grandmother, and there is Dorcas among the saints
of the circumcision, the Kingdom believers, who made garments for the
poor (Acts 9:39-41).
Let us not therefore, assume
that women are exempted from the sphere of service or of usefulness in
the ecclesia. For, again says the Apostle Paul, "I am entreating
Euodia and I am entreating Syntyche to be mutually disposed in the Lord.
Yes, I am asking you also, genuine yoke-fellow, be aiding them, these
women who compete together with me in the evangel" (Phil. 4-1-3).
Our General Assembly therefore, recognizes the place, the gifts and
graces of the spirit which the Lord has given to women in the ministry,
in accord with the teaching committed to the Apostle Paul.
In 1 Tim. 2:11-12 we read,
"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection," and in 1
Cor. 14:34 we read the following, "Let your women keep silence in
In the light of the Oriental
and Israelitish conception of the place of women in general, these
injunctions are understandable. But the evangel of Christ, especially of
this administration of grace, grants to women a wider sphere of service
here in the flesh. A place, of course, subordinated to the men. Yet in
Spirit they have a standing of equality with the men. As it is written:
"There is no Jew nor Greek, there is no slave nor yet free, there
is no male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus" (Gal.
While we are in the flesh,
the sexes must be recognized and the instructions obeyed as regard
women's place in the church. But in Spirit, positionally, there is
absolutely no sexual, cultural, national, or religious difference or
(Greek, agapê, aqapão, verb)
This word (agapê)
is unfortunately rendered "Charity" in our Common Version. It
means a love that finds its source in the subject, apart from any
worthiness in its object (see also Matt. 5:44). Also, the desire to
please and promote the welfare of its object (Roman 5:5, 8:35,39; John
13:35; Romans 14:15; John 15:9,10, etc.).
Another Greek word
translated love is Phileo. It means "fond affection."
A responsive affection based on approval and regard. The same word for
"friend" (Titus 3:15) as well as for "kiss" (Matt.
26:48, Mark 14:44, Luke 22:47), kiss of Judas.
Pentecost of the Scriptures
is a Jewish feast day which occurs the fiftieth day after the Passover,
another Jewish holy day (Acts 2:1, 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8; Exodus 23:14).
Pentecostalism as we see it.today began at
the turn of the century. Its adherents claim to speak in unknown
tongues (?) according to Acts 2:4 and this experience is to them
the baptism of the Holy Ghost (as they term it) with a burning fire.
The tongues or languages in Acts 2:4 could
be understood by anyone familiar with that language. There was no need
for an interpreter. The other tongues of 1 Cor. 14:2 were not spoken to
men as the languages of Acts 2:4 were, "For he who is speaking in a
language is not speaking to men, but to God for no one is hearing
(understandeth), yet in spirit he is speaking secrets." He who is
speaking in a language "is edifying himself" (1 Cor. 14:4).
It is Israel who requires a sign (1 Cor.
14:22), so on this day, according to His promise, God was speaking
through these Galilean Jews, a language with which they were not
familiar, to unbelieving Jews, from every nation under heaven, who could
understand their own language, of which three thousand of them were
saved (Acts 2:41).
Any Pentecostalist today, who claims the
experience of the Galilean Jews, is laboring under a Satanic delusion.
Israel as a nation have been set aside, "until the fulness of the
gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25). God is not giving signs to
Israel today, but began a work through Paul, "which in other ages
was not made known, unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed, unto
His holy Apostles and Prophets, by the spirit" (Eph. 1:5).
The Corinthians were told, not to use their
gift of (tongues) languages in the ecclesia, unless there was an
interpreter present to tell what is said, and there were not to be more
than two or three manifestations at a gathering, and that by course, and
let one interpret. "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep
silent in the church, and let him speak to himself, and to God" (I
We need no other tongues, such as the
Corinthians had, for we have the comfort of the Scriptures which they
did not have.
In Colossians 1:20 (C. V.)
we read, " . . . and through Him to reconcile the universe to Him
(making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether on
earth or in the heavens."
Reconciliation speaks of peace. It has to do
primarily with the relation of the creature to the Creator. The enmity
and estrangement which now exists between God and man, will be at an end
when the work of reconciliation is complete.
The Creation as it now stands is in a state
of disunity, not only with its Creator but with itself as well. There is
no real lasting peace anywhere, because the heart of the creature is out
of harmony with that of its Creator, having being temporarily cut off
At present the nations are "walking
according to the vanity of their minds, their comprehension being
darkened, etc." (Eph. 4:17-19, C. V.). The time is coming when the
hostility will cease; this begins with His reign, "For He must
reign, until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet"
(1 Cor. 15:25). It will take much time, but all will be vivified, made
alive beyond the power of death, reconciled to God, in happy union with
Him, and God will be All in all His creatures.
What a grand and glorious goal of the
Universe! The climax of His purpose of the eons, which God makes in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are often told that,
"the healing of the body is in the atonement." Not only is
this a fact, but the resurrection and vivification (life beyond the
reach of death) of the body, are all provided for in the work of Christ
on Calvary. In fact, all blessings, of every kind, is latent in the
cross of Christ, yet all waits God's opportune and fitting time and
In Isaiah 53:4, "Surely our illness has
He borne, And our pains, He was burdened with them." This really
refers to bodily infirmity for at His first advent, "He cast out
spirits with a word, and all who are ill He cures" (Matt. 8:16).
This power was given to the twelve Apostles,
and to the seventy, and given again in connection with the creation
commission, at the end of Marks' gospel. The Acts gives us many cases of
healing, and Paul was not a wit behind the chief of apostles. He was
blessed with extraordinary powers, so that even handkerchiefs from him,
drew diseases from the sick (Acts 19:11, 12). As he progressed in his
course his ministry underwent a change. He himself was burdened with
infirmities. He delighted in infirmities, for whenever he was weak, then
he was powerful (2 Cor. 12:10-11). The exalted nature of the revelations
he received made this necessary. Timothy, his genuine child in the faith
(1 Tim. 1:2) was also afflicted with frequent infirmities (1 Tim. 5:23).
Why did he prescribe wine? Epaphroditus, was very nigh to death, yet
Paul did not attempt to heal him, besides he left Trophinus at Miletum
sick. So long as the Apostle was proclaiming Christ according to the
flesh, he was not outdone by anyone in the gift of healing. But when the
most glorious administration of the mystery began to dawn, which had
hitherto been a secret, he himself suffered bodily infirmity, and his
associates likewise. The reason was, that the transcendent spiritual
blessings, was best exhibited into broken vessels, whose boast would he
humbled by physical infirmities. Israel will be blessed with every
physical blessing, and this will overflow to the nations that share her
bliss. But we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, which
often demands physical infirmity for its manifestation, yet, prayers
should be made as the Apostle Paul said, "In every prayer and
petition be praying on every occasion, in spirit and be vigilant for it,
with all perseverance and petition concerning all saints" (Eph.
When a believer grasps the present truth of
our calling, healing of the body will be seen in its true place. Let us
examine these so-called divine healers. How many lepers have they
cleansed? Jesus said, "to cleanse the lepers, raise the dead."
Did you ever see any of these so-called healers take any part of the
case-load from any hospital in the land? or go to yonder Funeral Home
and restore the dead-one to life? Most of what you hear over the radio,
of healing, and most of what is practiced by healing-systems, is a
farce, and a poor imitation of the genuine, to deceive the gullible.
There is no question that we can, and should pray for each other, that
God may be merciful to us, as in the case of Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:27)
in accord with His will, "lest I should be having sorrow on
sorrow" Paul said; but we cannot recommend James 5:14-15 for the
members of Christ's body, because the writer of the book clearly
indicates, the class of people to whom it is written is "to the
twelve tribes in the dispersion." The conflict between Paul's
epistles and James is so pronounced, that it is needless to try to
reconcile them, as long as we can see clearly, that the epistle of James
is for a different people, and a distinct administration.
Fasting was an established
religious rite in Israel. In the atonement day celebration, an atonement
for the sins of the nation of Israel, the people were commanded to
afflict their souls (Lev. 16:29,31, 23:27,32). All other occasions for
fasting as practiced by Israel seem to stem from this Divinely ordained
Our Lord fasted forty days (Luke 4:2), the
Apostles fasted also (Matt. 6:16). The time came when the disciples did
not fast (Matt. 9:14-18; Mark 2:20).
After our Lord's ascension, the disciples
fasted (Acts 10:30, 14:23, 37:33; 1 Cor. 7:5; 2 Cor. 6:5, 11:27).
Fasting does not apply as a command today.
It is no aid in our standing as justified ones before God (Luke
18:12-14). It is left to the individual believer, but not a rite of the
However, in times of crisis, or in any
emergency that may arise in our Christian walk, the Minister of an
ecclesia may proclaim a season of prayer and fasting for all those who
are willing to afflict their souls. At special seasons of self-denial it
is very requisite to resort to prayer and fasting. Jesus said,
"When thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face, that thou
appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in
secret" (Matt. 6:17-18).
Washing of Feet as a Sacrament
Feet washing was indeed a
necessity in the early church. A mark of hospitality. Even our Lord
washed His disciples' feet as an example of humility; Paul mentions it
favorably (1 Tim. 5:10) as common custom, not indeed as a sacrament, but
as a necessity owing to the wearing of sandals.
It is not necessary today in
our time and country.
Tithes and Offerings
Tithes and offerings were
instituted long before the giving of the law to Israel. It goes back to
Cain and Abel. It was in evidence at the time of Noah after the flood
(Gen. 8:20-21, 14:20, 28:22).
But these rites were
incorporated in the Mosaic institution, and became a vital part of it
(Lev. Chapter one and chapter sixteen are noteworthy, Heb. 7:9-10); and
individual offerings are the sacrifices of praise giving thanks to God
with our lips (Heb. 13:15-16; Phil. 1:17-18; Rom. 12:1).
In this administration of
grace we are enjoined to offer our bodies (Romans 12:1) and that we are
not our own. Rules for giving, "Let every man according as he
purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity,
for God loveth a cheerful (gleeful, C.V.) giver" (2 Cor. 9:7;
Romans 12:8; 1 Cor. 16:2).
Sabbath and the Law
Sabbath and the Law of the
Sabbath as such, is older than the law (Gen. 2:2-3). But it was
incorporated into the law which was given to Israel. And to no other
nation was the law given (Ex. 20:1-24). For to no other nation was the
law covenant entered into (Ex. 19:1-8, 34:; Deut. 4 and 5).
You can't have the law
without the covenant. And, surely, God made no covenant with any other
nation than Israel.
"Yet now, apart from
law, a righteousness of God has been manifested . . . yet a
righteousness of God, through Jesus Christ's faith, for all and on all
who are believing, for there is no distinction, for all sinned and are
wanting of the glory of God" (Romans 3:21-23, C, V.).
Marriage, says the inspired
writer of the book of Hebrews, is honorable (Heb. 13:4). Paul counsels
the young widowed women to marry, bearing children (1 Tim. 5:14). And he
warns those who forbid marriage as echoing the doctrines of demons (1
In 1 Corinthians 7 the whole
question is gone into. In it, too, the Apostle gives his opinion on
certain matters, but not as an injunction from the Lord, he makes clear
(see verse 6, 12, 25).
"She that is married
careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband"
(1 Cor. 7:34).
"The wife is bound by
the law as long as her husband liveth." Marriage is honourable in
all, and the bed.undefiled" (Heb. 13:4).
yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is
the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to
their own husbands in every thing" (Eph. 5:22-24).
"Husbands, love your
wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it . .
. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth
his wife loveth himself . . . For this cause shall a man leave his
father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall
be one flesh" (Eph. 5:25,28,31).
"A prudent wife is from
the Lord" (Prov. 19:14).
"Whoso findeth a wife
findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord" (Prov.
"Live joyfully with the
wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity . . . for
that is thy portion in this life" (Eccl. 9:9).
OIKONOMIA), is an orderly arrangement of affairs. An administration of
grace (Eph. 3:2), as well as of a secret (Eph. 3:9). Usually associated
with a dispensation, or giving. Paul entrusted with. (1 Cor. 9:17);
complement of the eras (Eph. 1:10), of God (Col. 1:25, 1 Tim. 1:4, C.
It is stated distinctly in
Scripture that certain of the human race are "God's elect" and
are what they are in character, privilege, and destiny in virtue of this
sovereign, ordaining will of God. They were elected but not unto
themselves, or for the sake of their own future, but rather for the sake
of the work which their position of privilege would enable them to do
for others of His creatures.
"The elect of God" (Col. 3:12)
chosen by Him, as an act of undeserved, unmerited mercy, to the
knowledge of Himself and His glorious salvation, called out of darkness
and translated into the kingdom of His dear son. This election is a
condition of exalted privilege to which all rise who accept the message
of God's mercy through Jesus Christ.
There are five occurrences
of this word in the Scriptures. And all are to be found in the epistles
of John. They are as follows: - 1 John 2:18,22, 4:3; 2 John 7. In 1 John
2:18 it occurs in its singular and plural forms.
John tells us that this
Antichrist is already present, and is at work in the world (1 John
4:3-4). That is the spirit of the Antichrist. And he tells us how we may
recognize it (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7).
John's statements concerning
the Antichrist, might well be regarded as prophetic. John in vision, is
looking down to the end of this wicked eon, the day of God's wrath, or
of His indignation. Then the wicked one, will actually appear as a man
(Dan. 7:23-26). He is the man of lawlessness, the one the Apostle Paul
predicted will come, in the time of the end (2 Thess. 2:1-10).
Evil is the opposite of
good. It should be distinguished from sin, in that, it has no moral
tinge, for God created evil (Isa. 45:7). And He brought many evils on
His people Israel, by way of correction and discipline.
Job exclaimed: "Shall we receive good
at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil?" (Job
2:10), and we have the Divine approval of this assertion of Job. In the
very next clause of the same verse, it says: - "In all this did not
Job sin with his lips." This shows that evil as well as good is of
God, and is imposed, not merely as chastening judgments for wrongs
committed, but also, as in the case of Job, solely as a means of testing
one's character of trust, and on a reliance on God, despite what might
happen. Trusting Him even where we cannot trace His hands, in our
experiences (Heb. 12:7-12).
We should note too, that in the Garden of
Eden, it was God who planted all the trees, including the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:8-9). And when Adam sinned we have
this profound declaration, namely, "Behold the man is become as one
of us, to know good a evil" (Gen. 3:22). Here again, evil and good
are linked together, and that it exists before the creation of man is
also clear, and in the book of Lamentations, chapter 3, verses 31-38, we
have a bold, forthright categorical statement, that cannot be seriously
questioned. It says: - "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to
pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the Most High
cometh there not evil and good?"
In accounting for evil in the world, the
popular method is to shift it upon the devil. If Satan introduced evil
into the world contrary to the purpose and plan of God, then God made
a mistake in creating him. God is well able to defend his own
honor. God kills, and makes alive. He tries his creatures. Man needs
trial and testing. Hence evil is used by God. We should not do evil,
for we are not able to bring good out of it, as God can.
From all of the above passages of Scripture,
we learn that evil and good are not competing forces, emanating from
rival gods, but it is clear that they are purely complementary. Evil in
the hand of God is used to serve the end of goodness, on behalf of His
creatures. God is master of these two forces, hence He controls them
absolutely, in the interest of all. This is a very large subject, yet we
should see and realize that this, too, is of God, and that it will
eventually be abolished, when the forces of evil will be done away with,
as set forth in the book of Revelation (See Chapter 20 and 21).
God All in all
God becoming All in All is
the grand out-working of His eonian purpose (Eph. 3:11); not eternal
purpose, a phrase which is essentially meaningless, because, a purpose
must have an end if it is a purpose at all; but the purpose of the ages
is meaningful, as the Revised Version shows.
Our God and Father will
eventually become everything to everyone. They will ultimately find
their fullest enjoyment and satisfaction in God their Father. They will
then have entered into that filial relationship with Him through the
masterful work of Christ in bringing all God's creatures, celestial and
terrestrial, into loving subjection to God and Christ, who, most
blessedly, subjects Himself to God His Father that God may be ALL IN ALL
(1 Cor. 15:20-28). How could this be true if the ninety and nine were
saved and one remained lost? No! in this parable Jesus said,
"likewise joy in heaven over one sinner" (Luke 15:7). God
could not be All in all if one sinner is left unsaved at the
consummation of the ages. All, not nearly all, not the church
only, but all (mankind). "Draw all," to draw men to Himself is
the work of Christ till the end of the eons, when through His reign He
subjects all to God His Father by placing all His enemies under His
feet, even the universe - then the Son Himself also shall be subject to
Him (God), that God may be All in all (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
During this administration
of the evangel of God's grace, some souls come to a realization and
enjoyment of their salvation, but in accord with His declared purpose,
God will cause all His erring creatures to know and adore Him in the
ages to come to the laud and praise of His glory (John 12:32; Heb.
Communion" or common-union or common participation is spoken of by
the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 10:16-17 with special reference to partaking
of the Lord's Supper." In this all believers in the Lord Jesus have
a comnion share. Hence the bread and wine which our Lord instituted
symbolize His body and blood given for us. Of this we partake (1 Cor.
This is the only ritual
remaining in the church today, as a command, and ought not to be
neglected, "as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye
do show the Lords death till He come" (1 Cor. 11:26).
Fixing Dates for the Second Advent of the Lord
We believe that it is unwise
and unscriptural to teach that the Lord will come at some specified
time, thereby setting a date for the Lord's return; and also that. it is
unwise and unscriptural to give out from the platform or to testify in
the assembly, or publish visions, or fixing dates as to the thne of the
second coming of the Lord. Those denominations that have done so in the
past, erred from the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.
The Scriptures testify that
the "Coming of the Lord draweth nigh." "But of the day
and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father
only" (Matt. 24:36). We are therefore commanded to watch,
"Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth
come" (verse 42).
The Affirmation of Faith
I believe in God, the
Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ His
Only Son, our Saviour and our Lord; Who was made Flesh, being conceived
by Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hades (the unseen),
and on the third day was roused from among the dead; He ascended into
heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from
thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy
Spirit: that proceedeth from the Father and the Son; the Church of
Christ, which is his Body; the fellowship of saints; justification of
those called in grace; the rapture of the members of Christ's Body,
living and dead, to meet Him in the air; the resurrection of the just
and the unjust; and universal reconciliation, the goal of the Universe,
when God shall become All in all. Amen.
relates to the end or conclusion of the (ages) eons (1 Cor. 10:11;
Hebrews 9:26). It marks the period of the end of sin and death which,
happily, began to be eliminated from among mankind during the last two
eons during which Christ reigned (1 Cor. 15:25; Rev. 21:4-5).
"Thereafter comes the Consummation, whenever He may be giving up
the Kingdom to Cod and His Father . . . For He must be reigning until
lie should be placing all enemies under His feet." We who believe
God's Word are encouraged to look for a "Consummation" when
God will be "All in all" (1 Cor. 15:24).
At the Consummation there
will be no more soilish bodies, for all creation will have bodies of
enduring elements energized with Holy Spirit, because death will have
been abolished, "in Christ shall All be made alive"
(1 Cor. 15:22), even those who rejected Him shall be made alive in His
power to give life, for "He is not a God of the dead but of the
living" (Matt. 22:32). Death and corruption cannot remain before
Him to dispoil His perfect creation. "As we wear the image of the
soilish, we shall be wearing the image also of the celestial." (1
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