Welcome to the Questions and Bible Answers Page
This is a Questions and Bible Answers page which attempts to answer some of the more commonly asked questions with the Bible, the God’s word. Please, read all quotations from your Bible to verify the veracity of whatever is said about any subject, please.
QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE
- Who wrote the Bible?
- Is the Bible of human or Divine?
- What is the Bible?
- What does it mean to say the Bible is inspired?
- Has the Bible been lost, altered or corrupted over time?
- What is your ultimate authority in Religion?
- Please explain why we have Old and New Testaments?
- Can I understand the Bible myself?
- Why is Christianity the only true World Religion?
- A list of 60 Bible Prophecies and their Fulfilment
QUESTIONS ON JUDGMENT
QUESTIONS ON SALVATION
- What is Salvation?
- What Must I Do To Be Saved?
- Are we saved by Faith ALONE?
- Are we saved by Faith without Work?
- What is sin?
- What is sinful?
- How is Sin Man’s Problem?
- Do My Sins Affect My Soul?
- Must We be Baptised to be Saved?
- Are You Saved When You Pray The Prayer Of Salvation or Believer´s Prayer?
- Are Babies Sinners?
- Confessing Christ?
- Must We Be Baptised for Remission of Our Sins?
- What is the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5?
- What is repentance?
- Do I need to repent before I could be saved?
- How Do I Become a Child of God?
- Let Us go Back to the Bible on the Issue of Salvation
- How Sure Are We on our Salvation?
- Is SINNER’S PRAYER in the Bible?
QUESTIONS ON BAPTISM
- What about the thief on the cross who was saved without baptism?
- Article on “The thief on the cross” by Dave Miller, PhD
- Was Paul saved in the road to Damascus before being baptized?
- Are we not saved by FAITH ONLY according to the Bible?
- Is baptism not a work? And we are not saved by work! Eph. 2:8
- Salvation is a free gift. Is there anything we can do to earn it? Rom 6:23
- Is Acts 2:38 not really saying, “repent and be baptized because your sins have already been forgiven?
- Is John 3:16 not saying that you just believe for eternal life?
- Are we not saved by the blood of Christ and not baptism?
- Was Paul sent not to baptize but to preach the gospel?
- What if someone believes in a desert and can’t find water or a believer is killed on the way to being baptized, won’t they be saved.?
- Was Cornelius not saved before baptism as attested to with the baptism of Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48)?
- Is “re-baptism” scriptural?
- On what condition Do I need to be “re-baptised”?
QUESTIONS ON LORD’S CHURCH
- Who is the Church?
- About the Lord’s Church, 1
- About the Lord’s Church, 2
- About the Lord’s Church, 3
- Attending church for the Wrong Reasons!
- Searching for the New Testament Christianity?
QUESTIONS ON WORSHIP OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
- Is It a Sin to Use Instrumental Music in the Worship Service?
- Will there be instrumental music in heaven?
- Can I attend church for the Wrong Reasons?
- Is your Worship according to the New Testament Pattern?
QUESTIONS ON SATAN
- Does Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:11 imply the Devil was an angel?
- How do the passages Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:11 affect the answer you gave about Satan being a fallen angel?
QUESTIONS ON TITHE
- What does the New Testament have to say about Tithing?
- Sabbath Keepers bind three (3) Ceremonial Laws of Moses
QUESTIONS ON CATHOLICISM
- Was Peter the First Pope?
- Does the Bible say anything about the use of the word “Father” as a religious title?
- Call no Man Father
- Can we call a preacher “reverend” or “pastor”?
- What about the silence of the Scriptures?
QUESTIONS ON WHAT DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES, SECTS, AND OTHER RELIGIONS TEACHES
Here, you will be redirected to another website (outside www.cocogooluwa.org), where you can learn more on what denominations, sects and other religions teaches. We implore you to please juxtapose the exposition with what the Bible teaches and make a good choice whether to continue to obey man or God (Matthew 15:8-9).
- Do you know what your church teaches?
- For Jehovah Witness NEW CONVERTS
- Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to be asked
- Catholicism: Divine or Human?
- Is the church of Christ for Latter Day Saints (Mormon Faith) from God or man?
- Is John Calvin’s theory on Salvation (T-U-L-I-P) scriptural?
- Am I not saved having said the SINNER’S PRAYER?
- Historical Development of Calvinism
Who wrote the Bible?
Garland M. Robinson
I not only “believe” the Bible is the Word of God, I “know” the Bible is the Word of God. The most powerful influence in the world is the all-inspired Word of Almighty God. Paul was caused to write, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). All the forces on earth cannot match it’s power. It transcends and penetrates concrete and mortar, iron and steel, wood and stone, land and sea, flesh and bone (cf. Heb. 4:12-13). It pierces man’s heart and soul and changes lives from the evil to the good, from corruption and depravity to morality and uprightness —from the inside out. It makes a vile person pure. It transforms a pervert into a saint. And sadly, the world is full of perverts today whose number is multiplying through the current trend of political correctness. Leading and pushing its way through this trend is “progressivism.” It contends for everything that is opposite to the Truth. And, since God’s Way is Truth (John 17:17), the progressive movement seeks to completely destroy the Bible, attacking it on every point. They may succeed at corrupting the minds of the many but they will never succeed at destroying God’s eternal Word. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). God has always reserved himself a remnant. The faithful few are in that number (cf.1 Kings 19:18; Rom. 11:4). Are YOU?
Man believes and promotes everything disgusting, foul and degenerate. The Bible pronounces judgment upon it all. The “good book” from heaven says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20)! Today’s world “justifies the wicked” and “condemns the righteous.” Proverbs 17:15says “both are abomination to the LORD.”
Liberals and Progressives, especially those in the church of Christ (whose number is many), are pawns in the devil’s hands. They are twins, bosom buddies, who work their evil against the Lord and call it good. They trash the Bible saying it cannot be trusted since we don’t know which parts are inspired and which parts are not. They may consider themselves the elite among us, spouting their claims that everyone else is ignorant and not up to their level, but they will crash and burn under God’s almighty hand (Word). They are aiding and abetting the devil’s work of leading souls straight into hell. Yet they can’t understand why the people of God would oppose them instead of joining them. They and their doctrine (philosophy) are taking the souls of men into depravity and eternal destruction. But, it’s been this way through the ages as First John 5:19 says, “…the whole world lieth in wickedness.” However, that doesn’t include the few who choose to follow the Bible as God’s faithful remnant.
Unless decent people, God’s people, wake up and get in line with God’s righteous Word, the world is doomed and lost. The Word of God can save sinners, including liberals and progressives, if they want to be saved. But they have to humble themselves and repent to fully embrace the all inspired, infallible Word of God in complete obedience. Whose side are you on? Do you side with the many or with the few? The Lord said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
The Truth is the Bible and the Bible is the Truth. It is all the Truth. Jesus said to the Jews who believed on him, “IF ye continue in my word, THEN are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). The only way to be the Lord’s disciples is to know the Word, obey the Word, and continue in the Word. The Word will make us free from our sins. Peter boldly said to Jesus, “…thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69). We, like him, can confidently say that WE KNOW the Bible is the all inspired, infallible, plenary, verbal, word of God —every jot and every tittle —every ‘i’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed (Matt. 5:18)!
Many so-called theologians do not believe the Bible is the product of God. Sad to say, this idea raises its ugly head among our own brethren. Learned men among us deny inspiration by their loose handling of the Word in their commentaries. One even says that Luke made a mistake when he used a certain Old Testament Psalm and applied it to Christ. Such is blasphemous! I venture to say that anyone that will not stand for the truth and preach a “thus saith the Lord” is an individual who does not believe the Bible is inspired by God!
One thing is certain: either the Bible is the verbally inspired word of God, or it is not. That means the Bible is either human in origin or divine in origin. If it’s of human origin, then it is not divine in origin. If it’s divine in origin, then it’s not human in origin. In other words, if it is not from God, then it is from man. And, if it is not from man, then it is from God! Let’s show that it is not of human origin; therefore, it is of divine origin.
Without God’s inspiration/intervention, we can rightly say there are only two classifications of men: uninspired non-religious men and uninspired religious men.
Uninspired non-religious men did not write the Bible. The no-good, indecent, immoral persons did not write the Bible because their deeds are condemned throughout its pages: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals, doing that which is against nature), thieves, revilers, extortioners and such like. They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Lev. 18:20-25; Lev. 20:9-16; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21). Atheists did not write the Bible because they would not have written Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It’s very obvious and plain to see that non-religious men did not write the Bible.
Uninspired religious men did not write the Bible. Obviously, the Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems, and all other “non-Christian” religions did not write the Bible because they do not believe it. It’s not the standard by which they live. Even the religious world of so-called “Christendom” did not write the Bible because they would not have written the multitude of passages that condemn their very existence as well as their teaching (doctrine). While Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20-21), they pray for division; asking people to “join the church of their choice.” Man does not have a choice if he expects to be pleasing to God and go to heaven when he dies. It’s either God’s way (narrow —the right way) or man’s way (broad —the wrong way). More specifically…
Catholics did not write the Bible because they would have included verses about Peter being a pope, kissing his feet, and receiving worship. There are no such passages. Instead, Acts 10:25-26 reveals that when Cornelius fell down at Peter’s feet and worshipped him, Peter said, “Stand up; I myself also am a man.” When the apostle John fell down at an angel’s feet to worship him, the angel said, “See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Rev. 22:9-10). When have you ever seen the pope saying such things? Since Catholicism teaches popes cannot marry, they would have not written Matthew 8:14 and 1 Corinthians 9:5 about Peter being married. Likewise, they would not have recorded the words of Jesus when he said, “…call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9).
Lutherans did not write the Bible because they would have included verses authorizing sprinkling for baptism. Instead, Acts 8:38reveals that when the man from Ethiopia wanted to be baptized, Philip “…commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” They would not have written Romans 6:4-5 which confirms that baptism is an immersion in water, not a sprinkling with water. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have beenplanted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection.” Of course also, they would have used a different Greek word than baptizdo which means to immerse.
Baptists did not write the Bible for they would have included passages that teach salvation is by “faith only.” They certainly would have not written James 2:17,24,26 where all three verses plainly report that salvation is “NOT by faith only.”
They would have said something about “voting” people into the church. According to this doctrine, it’s easier to go to heaven than to get into the Baptist Church. The Bible says the Lord “adds” those who are saved to the church (Acts 2:41,47). Church memberships voting on individuals in order to include them in the church is foreign to the Scriptures.
They would have never included Galatians 5:4 which plainly says one can fall from God’s saving grace. They believe and teach that a person cannot fall away from the Lord and be eternally lost. They would not have recorded 2 Peter 2:20-22. “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
The Disciples of Christ and/or Christian Church did not write the Bible because they would have added passages that allowed mechanical instruments of music in worship. Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 drives a death-knell into their practice. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” These passages authorize “singing and making melody in the heart.” They do not authorize playing, humming, clapping, etc.
Even the Church of Christ (our own brethren) did not write the Bible for we would have left out Hebrews 10:25 where saints are commanded to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. There’s hardly a congregation anywhere whose attendance is not diminished (many times by half) at Sunday night worship and Wednesday night Bible study. What are these people thinking? Don’t they remember their love and commitment to the Lord the day they were “born again” (baptized)? They’ve pushed the Lord to the “back burner” for greater, more important things (NOT)! Their thought has to be, “any place and every place instead of assembling with the saints.” How will they answer on judgment day? Ye who are guilty, please don’t wait to find out!
Our brethren would not have included 1 Thessalonians 3:6 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 where we have God’s command to withdraw fellowship from those who walk/live disorderly (the wayward/immoral). Far too many times our brethren walk by “sight” instead of “faith” (2 Cor. 5:7).
Romans 16:17-18 would have never made it into the Bible for it commands to “…mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Why is it that so many want their ears tickled? Heaven’s command in 2 Timothy 4:2-4 is just as valid today as it was when it was written: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”Jude 3 is rarely read and observed. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Where’s the congregation and/or preacher who will stand up and be counted among those who will honor God by obeying his word?
One other thought, all the population of the world falls under two headings (as we think of it): Bad men and Good men. The Bible condemns bad men, therefore they would not have written a book that condemns their practices. That only leaves good men, but they did not write the Bible either, even if they had a desire to do so. The Bible claims to be from God and not the product of man. The Bible claims to be divinely inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, good men did not write the Bible because if they had done so they would have lied when they said it came from God. And, good men do not lie!
It is evident that neither uninspired non-religious men nor uninspired religious men wrote the Bible. Neither bad men or good men wrote the Bible. The conclusion is obvious, THE BIBLE CAME FROM GOD.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so. God bless you in Jesus name, Amen.
Is the Bible of human or Divine?
Is the Bible of human or divine origin?
The Bible presents a great problem to mankind. Shall we believe this Book, or belittle it? Shall we endorse it, or ignore it? Shall we follow it, or fight it? It is either a light that guides, or a lie that beguiles. Which is it? It is either a great force, or a great farce; it either contains directions or deceptions, depending upon the validity of its claims.
Is the Bible the product of God, or the product of man? Since man has never been able to write a better one, it sounds as if it came from God. Since it is in a class all by itself, it sounds as though it could not have come from man. Since men have never been able to destroy it, though they have desperately tried to do so, it must be the product of God. Since there has never been known to be a principle for better living which the Bible does not incorporate, surely God inspired the writing of it!
Consider the accuracy of the Bible. Time was when the Bible was the only information men had on certain historical data. The Bible contained names of some kings that historians had no other record of. Some therefore doubted that such kings existed. I refer particularly to King Arioch, mentioned in the fourteenth Chapter of Genesis, and King Sargon mentioned in the twentieth Chapter of Isaiah. While men once denied that these kings existed, historians now say that they did exist. Through archaeological discoveries, the very foundation of one of their palaces has been unearthed, giving some information and dates about his deeds, all of which confirms the Bible account. Does this sound as though man thought up the idea of the Bible?
How did Paul know that God made of “one blood” all nations of men to dwell upon the face of the earth? He declared this scientific truth in the seventeenth chapter of Acts, verse twenty-six. Only in recent years have cytologists proved this to be a scientific fact, yet Paul declared it in the long, long ago. How do you account for it? Only on the ground that he spoke as God directed him. Many such truths as these are found in the Bible, and these have baffled the minds of scientists. In fact, there is not a known fact of science that contradicts the Bible. Many theories of science contradict the Bible, but no known fact of science does. How can this be accounted for? There is one answer, and that is, God is the author of both science and the Bible.
By contrast, what does the system of atheism have to offer the world? What does it have to offer by way of comfort, enlightenment, reason, and the elevation of human life? Then compare with that what the Bible has to offer. Think of the tremendous impact the Bible has made in the lives of men. It has gripped hearts as no other writing has done. Without doubt this Book came from God! Your reaction, both to the Bible and to God are, therefore, very important.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
What does is mean to say the Bible is Inspired?
All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work . (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
The word “inspired” (theopneustos) in the original Greek language literally means “God-breathed”. When the Bible claims to be inspired, we understand therefore, that it came from the mouth of God. It is God-breathed, inspired.
But a skeptic will say, “Everyone knows the Bible was written by men! The book of 1 Corinthians, for example, was written by a man named Paul. After all, the very first verse bears his name as the author.” In reply to this we answer: “Yes, 1 Corinthians was written by Paul. Notice however, what Paul said in chapter 14, verse 37: “the things I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” Paul knew the source of his writings and understood that he was like a pen in the hand of Almighty God. We must not view the Bible as the word of Paul, Peter, or Jeremiah, but rather, as the message God revealed through these men just as it is written in Jeremiah 1:9,
Then the Lord stretched out his hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, “behold, I have put my words in your mouth”.
The Bible writers were not like news reporters giving their personal interpretation of events they eye-witnessed, but were divinely guided as 2 Peter 1:20-21 says,
“Above all, you must understand that no prophesy of scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
God and man worked together in writing the scriptures. However, in this work, God is the author who dictated the message, and man is the writing instrument. Men were guided or inspired to write the exact message God wanted recorded in the Bible. Now that we have a fundamental understanding of inspiration and the origin of the Bible, let us look at some evidence of inspiration.
“We constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
Has the Bible been lost, altered or corrupted over time?
In the face of these doubts the informed Christian and student of the Bible affirms his complete confidence in the fact that we have God’s inspired word today. Modern studies and discoveries make this even more certain now than ever before. In the first place, it must be admitted that the early English translations were based upon Greek manuscripts which were the results of hundreds of years of hand copying. But even so, the variations do not in any substantial way affect the message of the Bible. When all corrections are made upon the basis of better and earlier evidences, no doctrine, no substantial fact of Christian history is affected.
Modern versions of the New Testament are no longer made from Erasmus’ Greek Testament of 1516. Our scientifically edited Greek Testaments of today, such as Westcott-Hort, Nesley, or the American Bible Society’s new edition, are based upon the earliest and most concrete evidence. Anyone who would argue that these New Testaments do not contain the original text would thereby confess his ignorance of the history of the transmission of the Bible and the science of textual criticism.
The evidence behind such a modern edition of the Greek New Testament, is threefold. First, manuscript evidence. Second, the evidence from early versions. Third, the evidence from the quotations of the Greek scriptures by the Greek fathers. Any one of these types of evidence is enough to confirm the authenticity of the original text. Therefore, they form a tripod of evidence which is overwhelming. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall every word be established” II Corinthians 13:1.
A whole book could be written on each type of evidence, but it is enough to note, for example, that practically every verse of the New Testament in Greek can be recovered from quotations of the New Testament by the Greek fathers (or scholars) in their writings. Again, versions or translations of the New Testament into Syriac, Old Latin, the Egyptian dialects, etc. were made beginning from three or four decades after the completion of the canon of the New Testament. Scholars with knowledge in these languages can verify the Greek text and the way these translations read. Most important is the overwhelming evidence from the Green manuscripts, the English and American Revised Versions of 1880 and 1901 were based primarily on the great Greek manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries. And so abundant have been the discoveries in the past sixty-five years that we can now go nearly two hundred years farther back with the evidence. Such great textual discoveries as the papyrus manuscripts of Chester Batey; the Bodlar manuscript of John and Luke, enrich our knowledge beyond the fondest dreams of textual critics of the last century, and still the sands of Egypt and the Middle East continue to yield treasures. Surely, in God’s providence, such discoveries are being brought forth in the modern dark ages of doubt to light the way to faith in God’s Holy Word. With such firm confidence in the original text we stand upon the fi m rock of God’s immutable truth. Our Lord himself said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Surely the God who made this world with all its complexities is capable of preserving his word for all generations.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
What is your ultimate Authority in Religion?
In the New Testament we have divine authority for everything we do in religion. The Bible is man’s only true creed and the New Testament our only code of laws in matters of religion. Herein, God has given us all things necessary to life and godliness. (II Peter 1: 3,4). The scriptures furnish us completely unto all good works. (II Timothy 3: 15,17). We are commanded not to go beyond the things which are written. Nothing may be added to, or taken from, this established standard of authority. (Rev. 22: 18-19). We must do as Paul urged Timothy, to rightly divide the word of truth. (II Timothy 2: 15).
The word of our Lord as found in the New Testament is our authority in religion today. We are taught that “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God”. (II Timothy 3: 15-17). The things Paul wrote were “the commandments of the Lord”. (I Corinthians 14: 37). He wrote to Timothy that he might know how to live right. These writings in the New Testament were for us and that we might believe in Christ and accept the truth. God has given these writings to keep us from sin; and that we might know the certainty of the truth of Christianity and as Christians have eternal life. (I John 5:13). Our authority in religion is in Christ and we have his word recorded in the New Testament for our acceptance today.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
A List of 60 Bible Prophecies and their Fulfilment?
A List of 60 Bible Prophecies and their Fulfilment
A scientist picked out 48 such prophecies and determined that the probability of one man randomly fulfilling them all is 1 in 10 to the exponent of 157. That is one followed by 157 zeros! Your chances of winning a typical lottery jackpot is about 1 in 108. (100,000,000) Yet, Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies!
Concerning his birth
|1. Born of the seed of woman||Gen 3:15||Gal 4:4|
|2. Born of a virgin||Isa 7:14||Mt 1:18-25|
|3. Seed of Abraham||Gen 22:18||Mt 1:1|
|4. Seed of Isaac||Gen 21:12||Lk 3:23+34|
|5. Seed of Jacob||Num 24:17||Lk 3:34|
|6. Seed of David||Jer 23:5||Lk 3:31|
|7. Tribe of Judah||Gen 49:10||Rev 5:5|
|8. Family line of Jesse||Isa 11:1||Lk 3:32|
|9. Born in Bethlehem||Mic 5:2||Mt 2:1-6|
|10. Herod kills the children||Jer 31:15||Mt 2:16-18|
Concerning his nature
|11. He pre-existed creation||Mic 5:2||1 Pet 1:20|
|12. He shall be called Lord||Ps 110:1||Acts 2:36|
|13. Called Immanuel (God with us)||Isa 7:14||Mt 1:22-23|
|14. Prophet||Deut 18:18-19||Acts 3:18-25|
|15. Priest||Ps 110:4||Heb 5:5-6|
|16. Judge||Isa 33:22||Jn 5:22-23|
|17. King||Ps 2:6||Jn 18:33-37|
|18. Anointed by the Spirit||Isa 11:2||Mt 3:16-17|
|19. His zeal for God||Ps 69:9||Jn 2:15-17|
Concerning his ministry
|20. Preceded by a messenger||Isa 40:3||Mt 3:1-3|
|21. To begin in Galilee||Isa 9:1-2||Mt 4:12-17|
|22. Ministry of Miracles||Isa 35:5-6||Mt 9:35;11:4|
|23. Teacher of parables||Ps 78:1-4||Mt 13:34-35|
|24. He was to enter the temple||Mal 3:1||Mt 21:10-12|
|25. Enter Jerusalem on donkey||Zech 9:9||Mt 21:1-7|
|26. Stone of stumbling to Jews||Isa 28:16; Ps 118:22||1 Pet 2:6-8|
|27. Light to Gentiles||Isa 49:6||Acts 13:46-48|
The day Jesus was crucified
|28. Betrayed by a friend||Ps 41:9||Jn 13:18-27|
|29. Sold for 30 pieces of silver||Zech 11:12||Mt 26:14-15|
|30. 30 pieces thrown in Temple||Zech 11:13||Mt 27:3-5|
|31. 30 pieces buys potters field||Zech 11:13||Mt 27:6-10|
|32. Forsaken by His disciples||Zech 13:7||Mk 14:27+50|
|33. Accused by false witnesses||Ps 35:11+20-21||Mt 26:59-61|
|34. Silent before accusers||Isa 53:7||Mt 27:12-14|
|35. Wounded and bruised||Isa 53:4-6||1 Pet 2:21-25|
|36. Beaten and spit upon||Isa 50:6||Mt 26:67-68|
|37. Mocked||Ps 22:6-8||Mt 27:27-31|
|38. Fell under the cross||Ps 109:24-25||Jn 19:17; Lk23:26|
|39. Hands and feet pierced||Ps 22:16||Jn 20:24-28|
|40. Crucified with thieves||Isa 53:12||Mt 27:38|
|41. Prayed for enemies||Isa 53:12||Lk 23:34|
|42. Rejected by His own people||Isa 53:3||Jn 19:14-15|
|43. Hated without cause||Ps 69:4||Jn 15:25|
|44. Friends stood aloof||Ps 38:11||Lk22:54;23:49|
|45. People wag their heads||Ps 22:7;109:25||Mt 27:39|
|46. People stared at Him||Ps 22:17||Lk 23:35|
|47. Cloths divided and gambled for||Ps 22:18||Jn 19:23-24|
|48. Became very thirsty||Ps 22:15||Jn 19:28|
|49. Gall and vinegar offered Him||Ps 69:21||Mt 27:34|
|50. His forsaken cry||Ps 22:1||Mt 27:46|
|51. Committed Himself to God||Ps 31:5||Lk 23:46|
|52. Bones not broken||Ps 34:20||Jn 19:32-36|
|53. Heart broken||Ps 69:20;22:14||Jn 19:34|
|54. His side pierced||Zech 12:10||Jn 19:34+37|
|55. Darkness over the land||Amos 8:9||Lk 23:44-45|
|56. Buried in rich man’s tomb||Isa 53:9||Mt 27:57-60|
His Resurrection & Ascension
|57. Raised from the dead||Ps 16:8-11||Acts 2:24-31|
|58. Begotten as Son of God||Ps 2:7||Acts 13:32-35|
|59. Ascended to Heaven||Ps 68:18||Eph 4:8-10; John 3:13|
|60. Seated beside God||Ps 110:1||Heb 1:3+13|
Today, the only way Bible scoffers can explain away this astronomical probability is to discredit the prophecies in one way or another. Their only alternative is to accept that God is the author of the Scriptures. The Bible is a reliable book of genuine divine prophecy. You can trust it!
The evidence of divine prophecy presented here is just a tiny portion of the proofs available to establish the divine origin of the Bible. Yet, they are more than sufficient to prove the inspiration of the Bible. There will always be men who scoff at the Bible. You, however, can be confident when you read your Bible that God is the author, for it is written:
“We constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
Why Two Testaments in the Bible?
The Old Testament is revelation and law from God covering about the time from the creation of the earth to the time of Jesus’ death on the cross. The New Testament is revelation and law from God covering about the time from Jesus’ birth to His (future) second coming. It tells us that His Son, Jesus, came, lived, died, and arose so that believers on Jesus as the Christ might have eternal life. The New Testament also tells us, by both command and recorded example how we are to worship God today. The two portionscf God’s will are so closely related it can be said about them that the Old is the New concealed and the New is the Old revealed. The Old Testament was preparatory, temporary, and limited. The New is complete, eternal, and universal. The Old Testament promised a New Testament (Jer. 31:31). The prophet Isaiah spoke of the days to come when the new law would go forth from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-4). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul stated that the law of Moses had been given until the seed, which is Christ Jesus, had come (study Galatians 3:19-27).
The New Testament is the will of Christ, its seal is Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 9:15-17). The testator of this will is Jesus, God’s Son. The inheritance is heaven. The terms are faith and obedience. The period of probation is the Christian age which will end when Christ returns. The beneficiaries are all men who accept the terms, and the executors of the will are the apostles.
This will could not come of force until Jesus’ death, “For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it” Hebrews 9:16. Jesus’ death marked the end of the old and the beginning of the new, for, “He taketh away the first that He may establish the second” Hebrews 10:9. Christians are discharged from the law and joined to Christ (Romans 7:4-6).
Since the time of the cross, even now in this Christian age, men live under the law of Christ rather than under the Law of Moses as in the Old Testament times. (John 1:17). Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant (or Law of Moses), nailed it to His cross and ended it there. (Study Luke 24:44 and Col. 2:14). Thus no portion of the Old Testament binds us today; even the 10 commandments have been replaced by better requirements. To illustrate this statement regarding the seventh commandment, where Jesus (during His sermon on the Mount) commanded, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”.
To return to the old law, that is, to bind parts of the old law on Christians is to say that Christ died for nothing (Study Galatians 2:21). It is to be severed from Christ and fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), it is to return to sin and death (Romans 8:2), it is to sink back into perdition (Hebrews 10:39).
The following are some comparisons between the Old and the New: Death versus Life (II Corinthians,3:6-8). Bondage versus Freedom (Galatians 5:1). The Old was to Jews only (Mal.4:4) while the New is to all men (Matt.28:18-20). Temporal versus Eternal (Galatians 3:19 and Matthew 24:35). Carnal versus Spiritual (Hebrews 9:10 and John 4:23-24). Continued Guilt versus Pardon (Romans 8:2 and Hebrews 9:12-14).
If it has been taken away and no longer applies to modern man, then of what use is the Old Testament today? From it comes the inspired record of the creation, the history of man and his need for a Savior, and the wonderful prophecies of Christ. Christians are to recognize the Old Testament as the inspired word of God and use it for learning, for admonition, and for comfort, but they must not, however, use it for their law (study Romans 15:4, I Cor. 10:11). The law we are to follow today consists of Jesus’ commandments, the Apostles’ directions, and the examples of the early Christians as they lived under the direct tutorship of the inspired apostles.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
Can I understand the Bible?
To resolve this question, we must appeal to the word of God, the Bible, to find if clear directions can be obtained from this source. This is a reasonable thing to do since most of the Bible teachers and scholars who disagree over the meanings of the scriptures can agree that the Bible is, truly, the inspired Word of God. They can agree, here, because the Bible has all of the necessary marks of inspiration: Among several other important marks of inspiration (or proofs that the Bible comes from God) is the Bible’s claim to being the word of God, and its precise historical and scientific accuracy. Should you have questions regarding the origin, inspiration, and authenticity of the Bible, please study from the messages under Christian Evidences. We especially recommend the message “INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE”, and “DO WE REALLY HAVE THE BIBLE TODAY?”, also “DID THE BIBLE COME FROM GOD OR MAN?”
So now with the safe assumption that the Bible is truly the Word of God, let us examine its clear words to see if it is reasonable to believe it to be understandable by those who read its words. Jesus intended that His word be clear, He wanted the instructions that his disciples would begin to deliver soon after his resurrection to lead those hearing them into uniform understanding and obedience. This intention is clearly stated in Jesus’ prayer as recorded in John 17:20,21. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, aid I in thee, that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
After the church had been established, this expectation and requirement for uniform understanding of the doctrine of Christ was voiced by the apostle, Paul, as he addressed the Christians of the church at Corinth: I Corinthians “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you.” Jesus’ prayer and Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians are neatly summed in Ephesians 4:2-6: “With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
In practice, there were few misunderstandings of God’s teachings by the early Christians; the churches of the first century were united in spirit and in teaching, just as Jesus had intended.
It is difficult to believe, logically, that just anything goes in the Christian religion. If wide interpretation of the scriptures were permitted, or were desirable, God would accept different faiths and different obedience from different people depending on how the individual read the scriptures. Thus, we would have to believe, not that man must be obedient to the will of God, but that God is obedient to the individual’s interpretation. This is a very convenient, but obviously false doctrine, for God is not a respecter of persons, but accepts those who obey His will. Study Acts 10:34. Were God’s words not clear enough for understanding, God would be the author of confusion, of religious division, and of strife. But, God is not the author of confusion. I Cor. 14:33 tells us that God is the author of peace.
Thus, we can accept the word of God as a document to be uniformly understood by all of mankind. The Bible is, then, the way of truth. But, is it for us to read and to study it for ourselves, or must we have someone else interpret it and teach us its meaning Again, the most logical place to find the intention and direction of God is in the pages of the Bible. The letters which are assembled together to form the New Testament were originally addressed to particular people or groups of the New Testament people: We need to see if those who originally received these words needed an interpreter. Typical of many verses in the New Testament are the following: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, fron God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:1-2
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.? 2 Peter 1:1 “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” Colossians 4:16 “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.” I Thessalonians 5:27 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: the time is at hand.” Revelations 1:3 These scriptures show us that the bulk of the New Testament writings were written to the membership of the church and that it has intended that the writings be read b or be read to those people.
The divine instruction is “read“, “hear“, “read to“, etc. Thus, the scriptures themselves tell us that we are to read them ourselves – an interpreter is unnecessary. Thus, we see that it is God’s will and desire that His word be studied and understood by each individual who would believe and become obedient to that will. This is the way that it was in the early days of the church, and nothing has been changed since that time.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
Why is Christianity the only true world Religion?
The majority of the world’s religions are more of a philosophy of life than a religion, and those that are religious usually incorporate many gods. In the Hindu religion, as an example, one can essentially do as he wishes; follow any ritual or custom he chooses, and still be a Hindu. They accept the principle that all religions are true and lead to the same goal. Then there is Buddhism. Gautama Buddha was married and had a child. At age 30, he abandoned his home and family never to return. This he supposedly did in answer to an inner craving that was not satisfied. He sought for inner peace through a life of abstinence and asceticism.
According to tradition, Buddha received enlightenment while sitting under a “bo tree” meditating. There is no way of knowing what part of Buddhist teachings came from Buddha himself since no record of his teaching seems to have been committed to writing for over 200 years. Then too, Buddhism in its original form was not a religion at all. It was more a system of psychological ethics. Buddha felt no particular need for a god. To him, worship was useless and prayer empty.
Confucius claimed to be an agnostic concerning the next life and the world of the gods. His mind was immersed in the affairs of this life. To him, human nature was naturally good. He did not object to ancestor worship. His primary interest was in society and the state.
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was married and had twelve or thirteen wives, not counting slave girls in his harem. He did teach the concept of “one God”. He was active in civil, political, and military affairs. He led armies that in time captured the territory of Arabia. The teachings of Muhammad were soon recorded in what is known as the Koran. Of course, like Confucius, Buddha and others, Muhammad went to his grave and remains there.
When one turns to Christianity with Judaism as its forerunner, many things stand out by way of comparison. The first is a strict monotheism. Jehovah God is the Creator and the sustainer of the universe, of life and of all things. This is in striking contrast to a gross polytheism found in the majority of religions, Islam being an exception. Only in the Judaeo-Christian religion does one find a logical, sensible, and reasonable explanation of the creation. The accounts of creation found in other that the Genesis record are written on a low mythological plane with a sordid conception of deity. At times the gods plot and fight against one another.
Only in Christianity do we find a prophetic message heralding one who is to be sent out from God as man’s deliverer and Savior; the only begotten Son, designated God with us and known as prophet, priest, king, wonderful, counsel-or, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace. (Read Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:1). This prophetic story has its setting in Jewish history centuries before the birth of Christ. Moses told how God would raise up a prophet to whom the people should listen. Deuteronomy 18:15. Micah said he would be born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2. The entire 53rd Chapter of Isaiah describes him as God’s suffering servant, sent out from the Lord to redeem mankind from sins. Joseph was told, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. This puts Christianity into a category all to itself.
When Jesus was born, numerous forces and factors converged on this event to confirm the message of the prophets. Ma ry, his mother, was reminded by an angel that her conception was divinely authorized. Read Luke 1:26-35. Joseph, who was engaged to Mary, was informed by the angel that her conception was of the Holy Spirit – Matthew 1:20. The angels announced his birth to the shepherds Luke 2:5-11. John the baptizer was commissioned to prepare the way for Jesus. Read John 1:23-34.
Jesus immediately affirmed His divine nature. He said He had come down from heaven to do the Father’s will – John 6:38-39. He claimed to be “the living bread”, John 6:51; “the light of the world”, John 8:12; “the Good Shepherd”, John 10:14; “the resurrection and the life”, John 11:25. He supported His claim by miraculous works, even to raising the dead. Read John 11. The climax came when He was placed in the tomb and came forth on the third day. (This record is found in Matthew 27 and 28; Mark 15 and 16, and Luke 23 and 24).
For a period of 40 days after His resurrection, He appeared to His apostles instructing them about His coming Kingdom. Read Acts 1:1-5. At the end of this period, He ascended into heaven. Acts 1:9 reads, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Verses ten and eleven inform us that two men in white clothing stood beside them and said: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” Here, briefly stated, is why we choose Christianity. It is validated by a risen Lord.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
What Must I do to be Saved?
What Must I do to be Saved?
The salvation of our souls ought to be in the front of all of our minds. There are things that the Bible tells us that we must do in order to be saved. We must hear God’s Word (Romans 10:17), believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 3:36), confess His name before men (Romans 10:9-10), repent of whatever sin that is in our lives (Luke 13:3), and be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). My friend, I hope you have done these things, and that God has added you to His church (Acts 2:47). If you are interested in learning more about God’s Word and His plan for man’s redemption, there are several ways that you can learn. You may contact us directly with questions by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com or you may study at Truth For The World. These services are offered free of charge, and you may study at your own pace. If you are concerned about your soul, begin studying today.
For further study on this topic, you may use our Ask a Bible Question page to do so.
Let Us Go back to the Bible on the Issue of Salvation: How Sure Are We?
Let us go back to the Bible. As God tells us in I Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.” In other words, we are to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. We must call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways. We will not be wrong in doing this. To do this we must get rid of all the manuals, creeds, disciplines, and confessions that men have written and follow only what we can read in the Bible, because the Bible is our only guidebook to heaven.
We must dust our Bibles off and start studying them for ourselves. We must stop taking someone else’s word for what it says and find out for ourselves what God is trying to tell us, if we will only listen to God. This is very important, for God says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you.” It is a very serious matter to be rejected of God because we did not care enough about what God is saying to us in His Word to read and study it for ourselves. Instead, we have taken someone else’s word over God’s Word. This is the reason we have so many different kinds of churches today. It is not good enough to be religious, but we must be right religiously. Everything we do must be according to God’s word in the Bible. We will not make it to heaven by following guidebooks which men have written. Please don’t think less of me for trying to point you to what the scriptures say concerning our salvation. As the apostle Paul says in Galatians 4:16, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” I am only wishing the best for you.
In closing, we ask the question again. Are You Really Sure Of Your Eternal Salvation? If you have seen from the scriptures that have been pointed out in this course or from your further study of the Bible that you have not done all the will of God and only the will of God, so that you can go to heaven, then please make those changes now so that your salvation can be assured. We are told in Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet your God.” On the Day of Judgment we will be either prepared or unprepared. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. What are your plans for eternity? Are you going to be spending eternity in Heaven or in Hell. The choice is yours. Remember that only few will go to Heaven but the majority will go to Hell. This great responsibility rests upon each of us.
If you are not prepared to go to heaven, then make things right now. Don’t put it off. Satan wants you to put it off. Satan works on all of us all of the time. He does not want us to change for the better. He wants our company in hell. He will do anything and everything to get us there. Do not allow anyone to explain away what you can read in the Bible that God wants you to do. We must take God seriously, because God is serious in what he is telling us in his word. Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV) sums up everything quite well when it says: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.”
We have tried to be open and honest with you. If you have any questions concerning the things discussed in this write-up or any other Bible questions please let us know by E-mail :firstname.lastname@example.org or click on this link: Ask your Question. We would also like your input as to what you think of this write-up.
If you were to die today, do you know for sure, without a doubt, that you would go to heaven? Remember most people will not go to heaven, Matthew 7:13-14. Do you believe in God and Christ? We are sure you do. Are you willing to repent of your sins and confess that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Will you be baptized (immersed) for the remission of your sins so you can be saved? Then the Lord will add you to His church (Acts 2:47), the church of Christ (Romans 16:16), where we can worship Him faithfully until death when we will receive the crown of life in heaven.
Are we Saved By Faith Only?
Are we Saved By Faith Only
The doctrine is commonly taught in the world that a person is saved the very moment he believes in Jesus Christ, that he is saved without any further acts of obedience. The New Testament book called James has much to say on the subject of faith and works. For example: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone“ James 2: 17. Misunderstood possibly as much as any other part of the Bible doctrine is the essentiality of good works to salvation. People confuse the good works of the gospel which the Bible clearly defines as essential, with the works of the law of Moses, or the meritorious works of men in an effort to earn salvation.
The Bible does not teach that people are saved by works of the Old Testament law of Moses, for we read in Romans Chapter 3, verse 20, that “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight”. From Colossians Chapter 2, verse 14, we learn that the law of Moses was nailed to the cross of Christ and is no longer bound upon anyone. We know that the only hope for salvation for lost humanity today is through the gospel of Christ. We do not propose to be saved by the works of the law, but through the works of faith and the labor of love in obedience to Christ.
While the Bible says: “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified“, it also says in James Chapter 2, verse 24:
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only.” ‘These works then must not be the works of the law, but are the works of faith revealed in the gospel of Christ. The law of Moses is dead and its works mean nothing today, but the works of the gospel mean much.
A person is saved by the blood of Christ, through the grace of God. He is not saved by faith alone, but through obedience to the commandments of Christ. Jesus became “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” Hebrews 5: 9. This does not mean that the obedient soul earns, merits, or deserves salvation, but that he qualifies for the mercy and the grace of the Lord, who according to his mercy saves us “by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost” Titus 3: 5.
The Bible makes it clear in that same passage that while we are being saved through the washing of regeneration (or baptism) and the renewing of the Holy Ghost that it is not by works done in righteousness which we have done ourselves. But if we do not submit ourselves to the righteousness of God in obedience to his word, we cannot be saved.
There are many Bible passages that show the essentiality of faith, that we are saved by faith, justified by it, and so on. Every one of these passages is to be believed and accepted. But there is one similar thing about all these passages on faith, not one single passage ever says we are saved by faith only. There are not such passages in the Bible.
Here is a great point to remember: Never in any age or dispensation in human history has God saved man by faith alone. God has always required faith and obedience. No other formula for salvation has ever worked. None ever will. Jesus said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” Mark 16: 16. It is faith plus obedience. This is the embodiment of the principle under which God has always worked in saving man. It is utter folly to expect him to make an exception to the rule now and save anyone by faith only and without obedience.
Are we saved by Faith without Works?
Are we saved by Faith without Works?
The subject of faith and works is thoroughly biblical, vitally important, and one about which much error is taught. Let’s look at faith and works briefly in the light of scripture. Jot down the Bible passages and read them prayerfully from your own Bible.
To get a good view of faith and its influence upon those who truly possess it, please read the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews. Verse 1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. The Apostle Paul says in Romans Chapter 10, verse 17: “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.
So then The word of God tells us of God’s purpose for our lives and of His desires about our eternal destiny. He tells us about man’s perfect beginning, of his fall into sin by following the advice of Satan, and of man’s bondage in sin until he is redeemed by a Saviour. God’s word tells us how Jesus Christ died: “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”, and how we may have salvation in Him, I Peter 3: 18. God’s word also tells us of heaven as the great home for which we may hope because of our trust and reliance, or faith, in Christ, and because of our obedience to Him, Hebrews 5: 9.
Now if “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”, and if this “faith comes by hearing the word of God”, then we are going to accept what God says as truth, respond to what He commands as necessary for our salvation, hope for the fulfillment of His promises, and accept His word as evidence about the unseen realms of heaven and hell.
Hebrews, Chapter 11, is God’s inspired record of how men and women felt, acted, and obeyed, and lived in view of their faith in God. Some people teach that there is no place for works in salvation; that it is all a matter of faith, and faith alone. The Bible clearly teaches that man is not saved by the works of the law of Moses (Romans 3: 28; Galatians 2: 16). Nor is he saved by his own works as if they could make him righteous. (Ephesians 2: 9) Paul said in Philippians, Chapter 3, verse 9, that he wanted to be in Christ, “not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”. Now, to see how to have that righteousness which is by faith, read Hebrews, Chapter 11, verse 7: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith”.
The Bible is very consistent; if a person has faith, he will manifest it by his attitudes and actions even as God prescribes. In James, Chapter 2, verse 22, the response of Abraham’s faith is described this way: “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”.
If a person has faith, or hope, or love, he or she will act accordingly. Faith and works go hand-in-hand as one responds in trust and obedience to God. This belief and response are seen clearly in Jesus’ great commission to his apostles (Mark 16: 15,16). “And He said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”. The Apostle Paul also said to the Christians of Galatia, Galatians 3: 26,27, “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ”. As you now read Hebrews Chapter 11, note how unfailingly these great people of God were moved by their faith to God’s will. The realization of this principle motivated James to say, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2: 24). It is obedient faith that saves.
Sabbath keepers bind 3 ceremonial Laws of Moses
Sabbath keepers bind 3 ceremonial Laws of Moses:
Seventh-day Adventists wrongly dismiss that “Sabbath day” is not the weekly Sabbath, but must agree that “food and drink” is a reference to the prohibition against eating pork or other unclean foods.
- The Jewish law against eating pork was abolished by Christ, yet Sabbatarians continue to enforce what they call, “the ceremonial law of Moses”: Mk 7:18-19; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; Rom 14:2; Acts 10:9-16
- The Jewish Sabbath was abolished in Col 2:14-16, yet Sabbatarians keep the Sabbath, which itself is the only ceremonial law of the 10 commandments.
- The Jewish law of Tithing is forbidden in 2 Cor 9, yet Sabbatarians practice tithing from “the ceremonial law of Moses”.
Sabbatarians practice the forbidden and the abolished, and forbid that which is allowed!
|Ceremonial law of Moses:||What the New Testament says:||What Sabbatarians practice:|
|Tithing||Prohibited: 2 Cor 9:7||Practice Jewish tithing instead of freewill offerings.|
|Eating Pork||Permitted: Mk 7:18-19||Bind Jewish law forbidding the eating of pork instead of allowing any food to be eaten like in the time of Abraham.|
|Sabbath||Abolished: Col 2:14-16||Keep the Jewish Sabbath instead of keeping the Lord’s day (1st day)|
Sabbatarians are unaware the tithing 10 % is prohibited in the church by 2 Cor 9:7
“Each one must give as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ” (2 Cor 9:7)
- There are two key verses that discuss Christians giving into a common church treasury: 1 Cor 16:1-2 and 2 Cor 9:7
- Freewill offerings is the only type of giving allowed into the church treasury.
- The phrase “as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion” clearly prohibits forced tithing of a pre-determine amount of 10%
Tithing prohibited in the church!
Freewill offerings: 2 Cor 9:7
|Tithing: God decides for the Christian.||Freewill: God lets the Christian decide for himself.|
|Tithing: Nothing to purpose in the heart about how much to give. The amount is predetermined to be 10%.||“as he has purposed in his heart“Freewill: The giver must determine the percentage he will give.|
|Tithing: Even if the Christian doesn’t want to give 10%, God still expects him to do so, even grudgingly… the money MUST BE GIVEN even begrudgingly.||“not grudgingly“Freewill: If you feel the slightest bit begrudged in giving, then God doesn’t want you to give.|
|Tithing: The Christian is under compulsion to give. He has no choice, he must give 10% because that is what God requires.||“not under compulsion“Freewill: If the Christian doesn’t want to give anything, even if he could, he is not forced to give at all!|
About the Lord’s Church, Part 1
There is one other thing that concerns our salvation that I would like for us to look at in the Bible. In response to Peter’s confession to Jesus in Matthew 16:16 that, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Jesus then says in Matthew 16:18, “On this rock I will build My church.” To whom was this church to belong? “My” is possessive, which shows the church belongs to Jesus. How many churches did Jesus say He was going to build? He said He was going to build “My church”, which is singular not plural. The Lord only promised to build His one church.
In Ephesians 4:4-6 there are seven ones listed: “There is one body,and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Just as there is only one God and only one Lord we also see there is only one body. The Bible says there is only one body; so what is this one body? In Ephesians 1:21-22 we find out what this one body is, “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body.“ Here we see that the Bible says the church is the body. So if there is only one body and the one body is the church, then there can only be one church that belongs to the Lord.
In Colossians 1:18 in speaking of Christ, we read, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Here again we see that the body (singular) is the church (singular). Again the Bible tells us that the Lord has only one church. We also see that in all things Christ is to have the preeminence. For Christ to have the preeminence in all things, we must follow Christ in all things and not follow man. If we follow men in some things then Christ does not have the preeminence in all things.
Since Christ only built His one church, we need to ask where did all these other churches come from? The only answer is they were built by men, so men could “attend the church of their choice”, and not God’s choice. We read in Ephesians 5:23, “Christ is the head of the church, and he is the savior of the body.“ Christ is only the saviour of His one body, His one church. He is going to only save His one church, the only one for which He died.
We have seen in the Bible that the one body is the one church, which the Lord built. We have also seen that Christ has only promised to save His one body, His one church. What then is going to happen to the hundreds of different kinds of other churches we see in existence today? Again let us let God answer this question. In Matthew 15:13 Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” What will happen to all those churches that God did not plant? They will be rooted up. This is what God has said He will do. This is frightening. I want to make sure I am in the Lord’s church, the only one He is going to save.
In Psalms 127:1 we read, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” No one has the right to start a church or religious organization that is different from the one Jesus built. But we see hundreds of different kinds of churches that men have built, each with a different creed. We must recognize the difference between the church the Lord built and the many counterfeit churches men have built. Why not be a member of the church that Jesus built, the church of Christ so you can go to heaven. This is a sad but serious situation; one that concerns me greatly and causes me much grief and sorrow to see honest people, who are honestly mistaken, laboring in vain. This is a supreme tragedy.
About the Lord’s Church, Part 2
The one church that Christ purchased with His own blood belongs to Him and the name it wears must honor Him. We read in Romans 16:16, “The churches of Christ greet you.” This name glorifies and honors Christ, the one who built it. Other names honor and glorify John the Baptist, Martin Luther, the day of Penticost, the apostles, Rome, Antioch, Nazareth, the Greeks, the Russians, the methodical way of doing things, Christians, the free will, being primitive, southern, missionary, general, the seventh day, science, catholic, the advent, and the list goes on and on. Even by their names they do not claim to be Christ’s one church. Why can’t we give the glory and honor to God and Christ where the honor belongs?
Today we hear the sincere but mistaken plea to “attend the church of your choice.” Why not attend the church of God’s choice, the church of Christ, the only one that Jesus “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Christ did not shed His blood to purchase any denomination nor did He purchase a group of denominations. The word denomination means a fraction or part of a whole. The Lord’s church is not a fraction or a part of anything. It is complete within itself.
Any church claiming to be the only church Jesus bought with His own blood should be able to prove from the Bible they are that church of the Bible. Can the church which you are a member prove that it is the one and only church the Lord built, which is the church of Christ? If it can’t then you will be laboring in vain if you stay in it. This may sound harsh. I say this with sincerity and sadness, but it will really be harsh if you are lost in eternity. We must wake up because this concerns the welfare of our souls and where we will spend eternity. People too long have ignored what the Lord has said in the Bible and have blindly followed men.
In order to be in the one church the Lord established, those added to it by the Lord must be saved according to His requirements. In Acts 2:47 we read, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” The Lord only adds the saved to His church. There are no unsaved people in His church. We are not saved just because we think or feel in our hearts we are. We are saved only when we have done what God has said we must do. Jesus says in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father which is in heaven.” We must do God’s will, not man’s will, to go to heaven.
According to the Bible, who are the saved? Jesus is quite clear as to who the saved are. Jesus says in Mark l6:16, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” A person has to have help to misunderstand what the Lord says here. Here we see the Bible says we must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. This is what Jesus says. But men have tried to change what the Lord has said. Men say that one does not have to be baptized, to be saved. Who are you going to follow men or Christ? Jesus says in John 12:48, “The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” We are not going to be judged by what our preacher says.
And also Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:21, “The like figure baptism does now save us.” Only when we have obeyed the Lord’s command to be baptized will we be saved. The Bible will be the only standard of judgment on Judgment Day, and not what we think or what men say. Are you putting your trust and confidence in what men say or what God has said in the Bible? You are making this choice everyday as to who you are following.
Also in order to be the church which Jesus built, the church must worship God and Christ according to the way They have specified. We are told in Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” It is very unwise not to find out and understand what the will of the Lord is from the Bible. Many people are not finding out for themselves but are relying on someone else to tell them. All you have to do is look around and see all of the differing doctrines that are being taught in all the different churches. Are they understanding and following the will of God? Absolutely not. If they were there would only be the one church, which Christ established, the church of Christ. What a pitiful condition the religious world is in, one of which people should be ashamed, but they are not.
If you are not worshipping God and Christ the way They have specified in the Bible then your worship is vain. Our Lord says in Mark 7:7, “And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Have you been following the commandments of men and only some of what God says in the Bible? If you have then your worship is vain. Jesus says in Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” We must observe all things and only the things the Lord has commanded us. Is your worship vain? If it is then it will do you no good and you will be lost eternally. Please follow God and not men.
The Lord’s Church, 3
Each congregation of the Lord’s church is to be overseen by a group of elders. In Acts 14:23 we read, “So when they had appointed elders in every church.” Notice there is to be a plurality of elders in every church or congregation. This is the way the Lord set up His church.
But what does the Lord intend for the elders to do in His church? In Acts 20:28 the apostle Paul was talking to the elders from the church at Ephesus and told them, “Therefore take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” The church the Lord built is to be overseen by a plurality of elders. The qualifications of elders who are to oversee each congregation of the Lord’s church are given in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:3-9. Is each congregation of the church you belong to overseen by a plurality of elders? If not, why not? If it is to be the Lord’s church and has men who qualify, each congregation is to be overseen by a plurality of elders.
If we really accept the Bible as our only authority, we will want to worship God only as He has specified. We must reject human traditions and doctrines that members are required to follow such as creed books, catechisms, manuals, articles of faith, the book of Mormon, the Koran, constitutions, disciplines and other guidelines of men, all of which produce new religious doctrines.
We are warned in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” It would be a tragedy to find out on Judgment Day we have been cheated of our eternal reward in heaven because we followed the doctrines of men; but it will be too late then.
II Thessalonians 1:12 tells us “That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is to be glorified and honored in us. Besides doing all that he tells us to do, we glorify the name of Christ by wearing the name “Christian”. I Peter 4:16 says, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this matter.” It is an honor to wear the name “Christian.” In wearing this name we are glorifying God and Christ.
We should not be ashamed to wear the name “Christian”, yet many seem to be. Men want to wear other names that give honor and glory to someone or something other than Christ. For example honor and glory are given to Martin Luther, the day of Pentecost, the apostles, the methodical way of doing things, the town of Nazareth, John the Baptist, John Wesley, the hill of Calvary, the city of Rome, the city of Antioch, the names of the different “saints”, and the list goes on and on. None of these names give any glory or honor whatsoever to God or Christ to whom honor is due. How do you think God feels about this situation? Do you actually think that He is pleased with it? Do you wear only the name Christian?
God tells us in Jeremiah 10:23, “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” Man has tried but has always made a miserable failure of it. In Colossians 3:17 we read, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” We are to do all in the name of or by the authority of the Lord Jesus. Can it be said that Jesus has authorized any of these different names?
Attending church for the wrong reasons!
A. Excuses why people won’t attend weekly!
- Following Jesus For Wrong Reasons
We will now focus our attention on people who thought they were saved, but Jesus stated they were lost. Everywhere the Lord went, thousands followed Him. In John 6 we read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 who were following Him for the wrong reason. Jesus charged them, “Truly, Truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate loaves, and were filled” v26. Here we have people who were following Jesus for totally wrong reasons. They were only interested in a free meal. Jesus tried to correct this problem by saying, “I am the bread of life who came down out of heaven” v41. This was too much for them to accept. Yes, they viewed Jesus as a great teacher, but how could He claim to be divine? How could he come having come down out of heaven? This they rejected. Jesus tried to teach them that the only reason they should follow him was not for bread, but because they believed He was the divine son of God The end of this story is found in v66, “As a result of His words, many of Jesus disciples withdrew, and were not walking with him any more.” 5000 left Jesus. Only about twelve remained. Today, if a minister caused a similar drop in church attendance, he would be fiend on the spot. Yet Jesus deliberately repelled the 5000 because they were following Him for the wrong reasons. Unlike many religious leaders today, Jesus was interested in quality not numbers!
2. Attending For The Wrong Reasons
It is truly sad that modern churches use cheap gimmicks to get people to attend. The church service has been changed from heart-felt worship to Hollywood style entertainment complete with special effects. Churches that once focused on good Bible study classes, now compete against one-another like businesses for new members. In an attempt to increase numbers, they advertise pot-lucks, dinner theatres, bake sales, soup kitchens, bingo, camping trips, exercise classes and various support groups … things which have nothing to do with religion or the Bible. If it brings in the numbers, they will do it. Yes, these churches are full every Sunday, but most members would quit if the “cake and ice cream” that initially attracted them were no longer offered. There are many people today who attend church because they are “bread seekers” rather than genuine Christ seekers. Is the reason why you attend with your church listed below?
24 Wrong Reasons to Attend With A Specific Local Church
|Pre-martial sex or homosexuality is OK||Ethnic, language or race similarities|
|You really like the preacher: dynamic or handsome||Church building is large & beautiful|
|Support groups & exercise classes||Its where your parents attended|
|Its the church you got married in||Midweek daycare for your children|
|They have a popular TV program||Building is geographically convenient|
|Craft classes & ladies tea afternoons||Family social evenings & youth groups|
|Monetary & food gifts for members||They run a ‘Christian’ public school|
|You agree with their political views||Summer camping retreats offered|
|You are dating one of their members||Opportunity for business contacts|
|Musical programs and dinner theaters||Bingo, raffles and bazaars|
|The people are friendly and loving||The church needs me|
|important or influential people attend||The services are exciting|
|Large (or small) number of members who attend|
The ultimate excuse for not attending didn’t work on Jesus!
Imagine that you asked the boss for the day off to attend your father’s funeral, and he refused. You might consider him so unreasonable that you might quit on the spot. Of any excuse in all of society, the death of a parent is always accepted. It is the ultimate excuse! It works every time … except on Jesus. One man actually used the death of his father as an excuse to put off becoming a Christian. Luke 9:59 says, “Jesus said to another, ‘Follow Me,’ but the man replied, `Permit me first to go and bury my father.’ Then Jesus answered back, `Allow the (spiritually) dead to bury the (physically) dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God. “‘ Do you consider the Lord unreasonable for refusing to allow this man to bury his father? Jesus replied in other words, “If you are going to use the death of your father as an excuse to put off making me Lord of your life, then no, I will not allow you to bury your father.” Jesus Himself attended funerals so He was not against funerals as such. This man was using the occasion as an excuse to delay becoming a Christian. Now, if Jesus didn’t accept the “ultimate excuse” what do you think Jesus will say about your excuses when you forsake the assembly? The truth is that people who habitually forsake the assembly do not have Jesus as the Lord of their life. For Jesus to be our Lord we must obey Him in all things, not just those we choose.
B. 12 Excuses why people forsake the assembly
12 Excuses why people forsake the assembly (Heb 10:25)
|Too busy or tired with work or school||Weekly attendance is not important|
|Rather do some work around the house||Jesus doesn’t expect me to attend|
|Rather go shopping or go to the cottage||Guests visiting for the weekend|
|Christ is important …Not the church||Hard to form the habit of assembling|
|Would rather sleep in||Organized religion is corrupt|
|I must work every Sunday||Attendance causes family tension|
C. A Lifetime Commitment
When we talk about lifetime commitment, we usually think about marriage. Yet the national divorce rate is 50% in spite of the fact that both parties have vowed to stay together, “for better or worse, till death do us part.” What Jesus requires of His followers greatly exceeds the commitment of marriage. Many today have broken their spiritual vows!
Is It a Sin to Use Instrumental Music in the Worship Service?
Is the use of instrumental music during the singing of praises to the Lord against Gods plan for the New Testament Church? In order to respond to this question we should start at the beginning and refer to church history.
A Cappella in the First Century Church
The first clear reference to instrumental music in the worship of the church was late in the 7th century when Pope Vitalian introduced an organ as an aid to the singing. There was so much opposition to the change it was removed rather quickly, not to be replaced for some 300 years or more. And although instruments were well-known in both Jewish and Greek society and had long been used in worship prior to the establishment of the church, their absence from early Christian worship is quite striking. The only reasonable explanation appears to be that first century Christians were not convinced God had authorized their use in worship.
Up until a little more than 100 years ago, virtually all Protestant churches in the US sang a cappella. Along with the churches of Christ, the Primitive Baptist and Orthodox churches still do. A hundred years ago theologians from the Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches all protested the adoption of instrumental music when it began to show up in the early 1900s. Even the name a cappella, comes from an Italian phrase meaning “in the manner of the church.”
Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs in the Scriptures
speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord
The scripture to the right (as well as Colossians 3:16) refers to using “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” to exhort and admonish one another and to give thanks to God, which is certainly a purpose of worship.
As mentioned above, both Jewish and Greek society worshiped using instruments. However, Jack P. Lewis, retired professor at the Harding School of Theology, states that the majority of the Psalms that refer to singing or joyful shouting do not mention instruments (though 16 of them do). And instruments were certainly used in post-Davidic Temple worship, but only by the Levites. The assembled audience neither sang nor played.
The Greek verb psallo appears in only four New Testament verses. Ephesians 5:19 quoted above is translated “make melody or make music,” while the other three (Romans 15:9, 1st Corinthians 14:15 & James 5:13) translate as “sing.”
The Septuagint used psallein to describe what David did with the harp to calm Saul, but the word was usually translated “sing” if no particular instrument is specified. The Greek lexicon states while psallo in classical Greek included the use of an instrument, the meaning was changing by the time the Septuagint was written until, in modern Greek, it means “sing.”
Even in Temple worship God told the Israelites specifically what instruments he wanted played and who would play them. Our sincere desire is or should be to please God with our Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. It seems quite odd that He would be so very specific with what was acceptable worship in the Temple, but fail to mention instruments at all to the church.
So, Is Using Instrumental Music a Sin?
Whether or not God regards the use of instruments in worship as a “salvation issue” is His call and is not our decision to make. However, we should be certain who we are trying to please. If we love Jesus we will keep his commandments (John 14:15), and few would deny that we should do that to the best of our ability. Based upon the New Testament we can know that God is pleased if we sing during our worship, but we can’t know He is pleased if we play. That confidence should be very important to us. After all, we’re risking our soul and all of eternity on our decision. Following the scriptures as closely as possible should be the objective of every believer.
*We have consulted various works in our response, including a chapter entitled “What Kind of Music Does God Want?” written by Milo Hadwin in the book Directions for the Road Ahead, edited by Jim Sheerer and Charles L. Williams. Another is a booklet, “The Question of Instrumental Music in Worship,” by Jack P. Lewis, retired professor at the Harding School of Theology. Both works, incidentally, refer more than once to a 1965 dissertation at Columbia University by James McKinnon, a Roman Catholic, entitled The Church Fathers and Musical Instruments. We also consulted “They Don’t Believe in Music,” by Dan Chambers.
Is It a Sin to Use Instrumental Music in the Worship Service?
Revelation 5:8 and other passages in the book of Revelation talk about there being harps in heaven. If there are instruments of music in heaven, why can we not use them here on the earth in worship to God?
Frequently those who defend the use of instrumental music in the worship of the church appeal to the book of Revelation for justification of their worship practices. The following passages are cited and the instrument devotee will then say, “See, there are instruments used in worship to God in heaven. Therefore, one may use instruments in worship to God on earth.” The passages are:
Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Revelation 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
The argument stated in classical form would be as follows:
Major Premise: Anything that is permitted in worship in heaven is permitted in worship on earth in the church.
Minor Premise: Instruments of music are permitted in worship in heaven.
Conclusion: Instruments of music are permitted in worship on earth in the church.
The first thing that ought to be noted is that the major premise of the argument itself is flawed. The major premise of the argument is that anything that is permitted in worship in heaven is permitted in worship on earth. We ought to note that in the same context of Revelation 5:8 John speaks of golden vials full of incense. Are we thus allowed to burn incense in worship to God? According to the argument set forth by those who believe in instrumental music, we are. But where, other than in the highly symbolic book of Revelation, do we find in the New Testament the church offering incense in worship to God? We do not. There is simply no authority for it.
The second thing that ought to be noted is that the minor premise of the argument is flawed. The idea that instruments of music are permitted in worship in heaven is suspect because of the highly figurative context of the book of Revelation. In fact, in Revelation 5:8 John explains that the golden vials full of incense are in fact symbolic of the prayers of the saints. Why would instruments of music not by symbolic of the songs of the saints and not the literal instrument itself. Given the context, that ought to be the conclusion one should draw. In addition, it ought to be questioned whether or not these allegedly literal harps are literally in heaven as physical things. Heaven is a spiritual place (1 Corinthians 15:42-50), not a physical one and we know that all material things on the earth are going to be burned up at the end of time (2 Peter 3:10), but those who argue for the instrument must say, “They will all be burned up, EXCEPT for instruments of music! They will be preserved so that we may worship with them in heaven!” The very idea that in heaven, a spiritual place, we will be reduced to worshipping God with physical harps of wood and string is contradictory to everything the Bible teaches about the spiritual nature of heaven (see 2 Corinthians 4:18 and 2 Corinthians 5:1).
Finally, it is often overlooked by those arguing that in Revelation 14:2 John doesn’t hear harpers, he hears the sound of harpers. The ASV translates the verse as follows: “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps:” The ESV translates it like this: “And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.” This passage gives no support to the USE of instruments of music in worship whatsoever. The Greek clearly includes the word hWS, which means that the description of harpers harping with their harps is a simile to describe the sound that John heard. Just as the sound he heard was AS the voice of many waters and was AS the voice of great thunder, so also it was AS the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
The figure of the water emphasizes the unity of what John heard; the figure of the thunder emphasizes the volume of what John heard, and the figure of the harps emphasizes the beauty of what John heard. But the fact of the matter is that what John heard was singing! That is what verse 3 tells us plainly; “and they sing as it were a new song before the throne.” Those who argue for the use of instruments of music in the worship of the church based upon these passages do nothing but show their biblical ignorance of God”s word. The book of Revelation is stated at the outset to be a book of things that were put in signs, or signified (Revelation 1:1). To use such signs literally completely ignores the context of the book.
The real question that needs to be answered from those who defend the instrument is where, in the New Testament, is it authorized? There is not one single passage of New Testament scripture that authorizes the use of mechanical instruments of music in the worship of the church, and that is the bottom line.
When God is Silent on a Matter, do we have right to act as we feel is okay?
THE SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES
In Genesis 4:3-5, Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord. God was pleased with Abel’s but had no regard for Cain’s. Perhaps God did not say not to offer the fruit of the ground, but His silence did not permit it, and He was therefore displeased.
In Genesis 6:14, God didn’t tell Noah not to use cedar, pine, oak, or any other kind of wood to build the ark. Could Noah had used anything other than the gopher wood that God specified? No…God’s specification of what He did want excluded everything else automatically. Noah had no right to use other woods just because God didn’t say not to.
In Genesis 11:1-9, God didn’t say not to assemble together to build a tower to heaven. But God’s silence on the matter didn’t authorize it. Therefore God scattered the people and confused their languages.
In Exodus 12:22-23, God didn’t say not to go out the window of the house. He only said not to go out the door. Do you think God would have spared the lives of Israelites who had left their houses through a window?
In Leviticus 10:1-3, Nadab and Abihu, the priests and sons of Aaron, “offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.” God struck them dead with the fire. Aaron protested; perhaps he claimed that God not said not to offer strange fire. Moses calmed Him down and reminded him that God must be treated as Holy.
In Numbers 20:7-13, God told Moses to “speak to the rock…that it may yield its water.” Moses struck the rock twice with his rod. God was displeased, and punished Moses by forbidding him to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Did Moses say, “You didn’t say not to strike the rock”? In 1 Samuel 15, God commanded King Saul to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites, including men, women, children, infants, and animals. Verse 9 says that Saul spared the king and the best of the animals. In verse 21 Saul attempted to justify his act by saying they were brought back to offer as sacrifices to God. The prophet Samuel rebuked him, saying that obedience is better than sacrifices, and that what he did was rebellious and insubordinate. Did Saul say “God didn’t say not to offer them as sacrifices”?God rejected Saul as king for his disobedience.
From these and many more Old Testament examples, we learn that God does not have to specify everything He does not want us to do. He frequently only specifies exactly what He does want.
Suppose you, as a parent, give your teenage child a $50 bill, and instruct him to go to the grocery store and purchase milk, bread, and eggs. Your child goes to the grocery store, purchases the milk, bread, and eggs, and also purchases a soda and a candy bar for himself. He also picks up some ice cream and a bag of cookies.
After leaving the grocery store, he takes the rest of the money and rents a couple of videos, plays some arcade games, and then treats himself to Subway, followed by Dairy Queen for dessert. Finally he returns home and hands you $1.50 in change. Of course you are going to be upset. He just wasted your $50 bill! All he says is, “You didn’t say not to.” What do you do then? God’s response is punishment.
God’s silence doesn’t authorize you to do something. He didn’t have to list every type of sacrifice that was unacceptable for Cain and Abel; He didn’t have to list every type of wood Noah was not allowed to use. He didn’t have to specify that the people were not to build a tower to heaven. He didn’t have to mention every way of exiting a house for the Israelites to get the point. He did not list every type of fire that Nadab and Abihu were not to use. He didn’t need to tell Moses everything not to do to the rock to get water. God didn’t have to tell Saul everything not to do regarding the Amalekites. And you didn’t have to tell your teenage child everything not to buy at the grocery store and everything else he was not supposed to do with the money. SILENCE DOES NOT EQUAL PERMISSION!!!
Let’s look now at some New Testament examples: In Matthew 1:21, the angel told Mary to name the child Jesus. He didn’t list every name not to name Him. In Matthew 15, Jesus specifically condemns the Pharisees and scribes who transgressed the law for their tradition. He accused them of giving their money to God, rather than helping their own parents. This was a dishonor to the parents, and thus a dishonor to God. Well…God didn’t say not to give all their money to Him, did He? Jesus said their worship was vain.
In Matthew 21, the Jews were buying and selling in the Temple. God didn’t say not to use the Temple as a place of business. Were they sinning? Jesus thought so. He chased them out. In Matthew 26:26-28, Jesus used unleavened bread and fruit of the vine to institute the Lord’s Supper. We know He used unleavened bread because it was the time of the Passover, during which no leaven was allowed in the house (Exodus 12:14-20; Leviticus 23:5-6). Other than in the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), there is no mention anywhere of the church using anything different, even though it doesn’t say not to use something different. So could we today substitute regular bread for unleavened bread, or maybe even a cookie? Could we use kool-aid or water or something else in place of the fruit of the vine? If not, why not? God didn’t say not to use something different. And He didn’t need to.
Ephesians 5:19 commands us to sing. Colossians 3:16 commands us to sing. Hebrews 13:15 commands us to praise God with our lips. In none of these verses, nor any where else in the New Testament does God command us to use instruments with our singing. Since God specified singing, that automatically excludes the use of instruments. We cannot add the use of instruments to God’s Word. Why not? God’s silence forbids it…He didn’t have to say not to.
Now study your Scriptures thoroughly and find even ONE verse that shows that any church sent money to help non-saints. Find even ONE verse that shows the existence of a missionary society. Find even ONE verse that says the church built orphanages or retirement homes or supported colleges or any other kind of institution. Find even ONE verse that allows the elders of one congregation to exercise oversight over another congregation or its funds. Can you find one? Even ONE? There is none that I know of. There is no verse that authorizes the church to perform any of those practices. (There are plenty that obligate the INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN to help the needy, but none for the church.) So can the church today do such things? (God didn’t say not to.)
The denominations today try to justify their actions by relying on the silence of the Scriptures; they bind where God has not bound and loose where God has not loosed (Matthew 16:19). They have added to, changed, and taken away from the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19). They claim to do it all in the name of the Lord. But Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).
On the day of Judgement, many of today’s denominational members are going to say, “Lord, Lord, did we not build orphanages and retirement homes in Your name, and in Your name use instruments with our singing, and in Your name set up missionary societies to do the work of the church?” Jesus’ reply will be condemnation. And there will be no “You didn’t say not to.”
Must We Be Baptized To Be Saved?
The will of the Father also includes our being baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we can be saved and go to heaven. In Mark 16:16 Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This is such a simple command to obey in the way the Lord says to do it. Notice the divine order: 1) Believe + 2) Baptism = 3) Saved. Jesus says that both belief and baptism are required to be saved. But men, at the prompting of Satan, are trying to tell us many other different things that are contrary to what Jesus says. Men have taken what the Lord said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” and have changed it in every way possible to suit themselves. The following is what Jesus says and also ways in which man has tried to change what the Lord has said.
|1) As we have just seen Jesus says in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”2) There are those who in reality say that, “He that does not believe and is not baptized will be saved,” because they say God is going to save everyone. This is the Universalist who says that everyone is going to be saved and no one is going to be lost. We know this is not true because of what our Lord said in Matthew 7:13-14, that many are going to be lost and only few are going to be saved.
3) Then there are others who essentially say that, “He who believes and is baptized will not be saved.” They say that no one is going to be saved. This is the Atheist who says that there is not going to be an eternity and that when you are dead, you are like the dog Rover, you are dead all over. But again we know that this is false. We have already seenthat few will be saved, but the majority will be lost.
4) Still others imply that, “He who does not believe but is baptized will be saved.” These are those who practiceinfant baptism, but an infant certainly cannot believe. Of course an infant is not accountable but is innocent and is not lost.
5) Then there are also those who essentially say that, “He who believes and is not baptized will be saved.” They are trying to tell us that we are saved by faith only and that baptism is not necessary to be saved, but all that you have to do is believe. Again, like the other three, this is contrary to what the Lord has said in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” On the day of judgment we are only going to be judged by what the Lord says and not by what we think.
Who are you following? Are you following 1) Jesus, 2) the Universalist, 3) the Atheist, 4) those promoting infant baptism, or 5) those promoting faith only? We can go to heaven only by following what Jesus says and not what man says. The following chart shows what the Lord has said and also the many ways that men have tried to change it. They have changed it every way possible to suit themselves.
1) Jesus in Mark 16:16 says: Believe + Baptized = Saved
2) Universalist says: Not Believe + Not Baptized = Saved
3) Atheist says: Believe + Baptized = Not Saved
4) Infant Baptism says: Not Believe + Baptized = Saved
5) Faith Only says: Believe + Not Baptized = Saved
Our Lord said in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” But there are those who want to ignore what Jesus said in the first half of the verse and only look at the latter half. They do this in an attempt to try to manufacture a loophole in what the Lord has said. They are not willing to accept that Jesus says we must believe and be baptized to be saved. Jesus could not make it any clearer what one has to do to be saved.
In the later half of the verse Jesus says “but he who does not believe will be condemned.” But there are those who say that Jesus did not say you would be condemned if you were not baptized. People who say this are grasping at straws in trying to avoid what the Lord who is our only Saviour requires. But people are doing this to their own eternal destruction. One who does not believe will certainly not be baptized. One who does not believe could go through the motions and get dunked under the water, but he would not be scripturally baptized. He would only get wet. Since one who does not believe could not be scripturally baptized, it would have been useless for the Lord to have mentioned baptism in the latter half of the verse. People may argue against the Lord’s requirement of being baptized in order to be saved, but they will not be able to argue with the Lord when they stand before Him on the Day of Judgment. It will be too late then.
When we stand before the Lord on the day of judgment to be judged by Him, there are going to be many who have chosen not to do what the Lord has said. Rather they have chosen to do what man has said to do. Romans 10:3 tells us that people are “Seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” The choice is ours. Either we have tried to establish our own righteousness or we have submitted to the righteousness of God. Unless we are forgiven the way that Jesus Christ has specified in the Bible then we will die in our sins and be forever lost and forever separated from God in eternal punishment. We make the decision; but we will reap the eternal consequences. Are you ready for those consequences?
The Lord says in John 12:48, “The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” We are not going to be judged by what man says or by what we think, but by what our Lord says. This is going to be the standard for judgment.
For the majority of people, the judgment will be a horrible day, and a day of many terrible surprises. Obedience to our Lord will save any lost person, no matter how evil his past has been, but obedience to a mere human doctrine will not save anyone, no matter how good they have been. Speaking of Christ, Hebrews 5:9 says, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him.” Yes, we must obey our Lord, if we expect Him to save us.
Baptism is not a work of merit that man does. We do nothing for God when we are baptized, except obey Him; but God does something for us. Baptism is God’s chosen way of imparting His saving grace. Baptism is the submission to the command of God that saves. As we read in Acts 10:48, “And He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” God offers salvation to all men, but He conditions that offer with obeying the requirements which He has set out in His word. The Lord has commanded us to be baptized. The Lord has no nonessential commands. In Hebrews 5:9 we saw that no man can be saved by the grace of God without being obedient to the will of God.
Believing and being baptized to be saved, as Mark 16:16 says, does not nullify the grace of God, but it activates it. The fact that baptism is essential to our salvation in no way reflects upon the wonderful grace offered to all; but rather it honors Christ who commanded it. Baptism is a very serious matter. According to the Bible, baptism is for the purpose of salvation.
In the Garden of Eden God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said in Genesis 2:17,“For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” But later in Genesis 3:4 Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die.” Satan just added the one word “not” and perverted what God had said. This is what men are doing today. Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Men today erroneously teach “He that believes and is not baptized shall be saved.” By adding the word “not” men today are perverting the word of God just as Satan did.
Satan does not want anyone to be baptized for the purpose of being saved. Satan tells people that after you think you are saved and your sins are forgiven then you can be baptized. But this is a lie of Satan which will cause many people to be lost. But Jesus promised salvation only to those who believe and are baptized. We cannot afford to be wrong on this vital point. Our eternal destiny depends on our being right with God.
What is sin?
What is sinful?
Sin is a major problem of humanity. As dangerous as sin is, men have different opinions about it. They even disagree with each others on the subject as any other subject.
However, God does not change. His word is truth (John 17:17). The answer to the question is found in the Bible, the only book in the world that contained the mind of God!
- Sin is breaking God’s law, that is acting lawlessness.“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”(I John 3:4)Sin is “lawlessness” (NKJV), or “transgression of the law”.The word for lawlessness (transgression) is anomia (Greek) (an-om-ee’-ah) which means “illegality, i.e. violation of law”, i.e., to break or violate a law, such as the law of God, e.g., to steal when the law says “Thou shalt not steal”. So sin occurs when you DO WHAT IS FORBIDDEN (commonly called “a sin of commission”). Therefore, according to God’s word, the Bible, such acts as “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like …” (Galatians 5:19-21, KJV), are sins and those who indulge in any or combination of them shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
- Sin is NOT doing what God commands.“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17, KJV). So sin is also committed when you FAIL TO DO WHAT IS GOOD OR COMMANDED (often called “a sin of omission”), e.g., failing to love your brother. While you may not do ill toward your brother, failure to do good is just as much a sin! In view of this statement, not worshipping God, not loving one’s neighbour, not obeying the gospel, and taking from God’s word, would also be sins. When God gives a command, and we refuse to obey it, we are showing our disrespect and rebellion against God. Jesus Christ said,“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21, KJV).
- All unrighteousness is sin.“All unrighteousness is sin…” (I John 5:17, KJV).
In all the above definitions of sin, whenever one failed to meet a certain standard (they have “missed the mark”). In this case, the standard is the “law of God”. Which, when carefully noted, is designed to help us in our relationships with God, other people, even self. Every command of God, both negative and positive, affect these relationships in one way or the other.
Since sin separates a soul from God (Isaiah 59:1,2), and “all have sinned…” (Romans 3:23), we should be concerned about how to have it removed. Moreso, that “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (IJohn 3:8; John 8:44). Since he is the “father” of sin, those who practice sin are his children. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” – (cf. John 8:44a)
So when we “miss the mark” by either doing what is forbidden or failing to do what is commanded we demonstrate the influences of the devil in our lives!
The people who believed in Jesus, the Christ were told in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and be baptized [immerse in water] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
If you desire that that your sins be remove, you also can do just what the Bible says you should do in order to have your sins blotted out.
Jesus wants us to confess Him before men. In Matthew 10:32-33 he says, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” If we deny Christ we are going to be lost. We must not be ashamed to confess to other people that we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus says in Mark 8:38, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when he comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” If He is ashamed of us, that means that we are going to be lost.
There are several examples of people confessing their faith in Christ in the Bible. One is found in Matthew 16:16-17, “Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Christ was well pleased with Peter’s confession and He will be with ours also.
In Acts 8:36-37 a man asked the question, “See here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then in verse 37, “Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.“ Here we see that we must believe with all our heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and not be ashamed to make that confession to others before we are baptized. Would you be willing to confess to others that you believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God?
How is Sin Man’s Problem?
Man has a sin problem. Our sins separate us from God. Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear”. It is our sins that have caused the separation. In Romans 3:23, we are told, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. There is not an accountable person living or who has ever lived (except our Lord), who can say that he has never sinned. We are all in need of salvation. I John 1:8 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. The easiest person to deceive is ourselves. When we rationalize away what God says, this is what we are doing. God says that man has a sin problem, but man says that he does not. Who is right and what are we doing to God when we say that we have no sin? Continuing our reading in I John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” God is always right when he tells us that we have all sinned.
In Romans 6:23 we read, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord”. Death is a separation. When we die physically, our body is placed into the grave, but our spirit is separated from our dead body and goes back to God, who gave it. We are told in Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it”. In physical death, there is a separation between our body and our soul.
In Romans 6:23, we saw that, “For the wages of sin is death”. This is a spiritual death, which is a separation from God in eternity for those who are lost. Since God is in heaven, and those who experience this spiritual death are separated from God, they cannot go to heaven. This leaves only one place for them to go, hell. We see hell spoken of as the second death in Revelation 21:8, “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death”.
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What is repentance?
Do I need to repent before I could be saved?
What else is the will of the Father that we may please Him so that we can go to heaven? Jesus says in Luke 13:3, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” It is either repent or perish; the choice is ours. But Satan does not want us to repent. Acts 17:30, “Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” All people everywhere, and that includes you and me, are commanded of God to repent. Repent of what? Repent of our sins. Repent of not fully serving and following all that God says.
God is pleading with us to repent. He greatly desires that we turn to him. He tells us in II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” God wants us to repent so we can be saved. He is patiently waiting on us. But eventually our time will run out. The longer we put off repentance, the harder our heart gets.
Repentance is not just being sorry. II Corinthians 7:10, “For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Repentance is a change of heart and a change of mind. We must make up our mind to stop living life our way and start living it God’s way. It is making up our mind that henceforth we are going to serve God with all our might and do everything He says. Matthew 22:37, “Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” In other words, we must do it with all of our being.
Romans 2:4 says, “The goodness of God leads you to repentance.” God has been so good to us, and this should cause us to want to please Him in every way. God, because of His love for us, has done so much for us, and because of this we read in I John 4:19, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” This should cause us to want to repent and do all the things that He has asked us to do, otherwise we do not love God. Jesus said in John 14:24, “He who does not love Me, does not keep my words.” Do you love God? If you do, you will want to do everything that He says. In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love Me keep My commandments.” Are you willing to show your love to God by repenting?
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How Do I Become A Child of God?
What is repentance? Do I need to repent before I could be saved?
Galatians 3:26-27 (KJV) says, “For you are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” All of us want to be children of God, but it is our faith in Christ that leads us to become children of God. This verse also tells us how our faith leads us to be children of God. It says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The word for as used in this scripture is a preposition, which means for the purpose of or in order to be. Therefore, we are baptized for the purpose of or in order to be God’s children.
To be a child of God and part of His family, we must be born into His family. Our Lord said in John 3:3, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” Then He tells us how being born again takes place in John 3:5, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When one is born again by being baptized into Christ he becomes a child of God.
We might ask the question, “If I had to prove that I was a child of God in order to get into heaven, could I do it?” Only those who are God’s children will inherit heaven. In 1 Peter 1:4 we read “To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” Are you eligible for that inheritance? Have you become a child of God by being baptized into Christ? If you haven’t then you have no inheritance in heaven. You will inherit eternal punishment. Why would anyone in their right mind not want to be a child of God?
Has your faith led you to be baptized, so that you can become a child of God? If not then you are not a child of God. To be a child of God, our faith must be a faith that will accept and do all that the Lord tells us to do. It must be an obedient faith, because God says in James 2:17, 20 & 24, “Thus also faith, by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” We are not saved by “faith only”. If our faith is not one of action, it is a dead faith. A dead faith will do us no good on the Day of Judgment. This is the only place in the Bible that speaks of “faith only”. Here it does not commend it, but rather condemns it. It also refers to one who believes in “faith only” as “O foolish man.”
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Are Babies Sinners?
This is one of the points of Calvinism that has been accepted by many religious groups today without searching the Bible to see if it is true.
First, let us see what sin is. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). Sin is an act of rebellion against the law of God. It is not an inherited characteristic like brown eyes and black hair. A baby does not have the ability to know and understand God’s will and therefore cannot disobey it.
Second, notice a plain statement of this subject in the Bible. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteousness shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20). this verse teaches individual responsibility, and accountability before God. If a baby cannot get the sin of his father, how could he go back hundreds of generations and inherit the sin of Adam?
Must We Be Baptized For The Forgiveness Of Our Sins?
In the second chapter of Acts, Peter had convicted the people there of having killed the Son of God. In verse 37 their question was,“Men and brethren what shall we do?” In verse 38 (KJV), “Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.” Here people were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Only when we submit to baptism as the Lord has commanded, that is for the remission of sins to be saved, do we show our faith in the Lord. Only then will He save us.
Man today has a sin problem. It is our sins that separate us from God. We are to repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. This is God’s instruction on how we solve our sin problem. In the above verse, when Peter told them to “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins,” whatever repentance is for in that verse, baptism is for the same reason. Repent and be baptized are joined by the coordinating conjunction and, which joins words of equal grammatical importance. Certainly Acts 2:38 does not teach that lost people are to repent because they have already received forgiveness of their sins. Neither does it teach that lost people are to be baptized because their sins are already forgiven. Satan would like you to believe that baptism has nothing to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Have you been baptized for the remission of your sins? Again, the choice is yours; either believe what God has said and be saved, or believe what men say and you will continue to be lost. We only have two choices, and the choice that we make will have eternal consequences. But please make the right choice.
In the book of Acts we have the account of the conversion of the Apostle Paul. In Acts chapter 9, Paul is traveling on the road up to Damascus to persecute Christians. The Lord appears to Paul on the road and strikes him blind. In verse 5 he tells Paul, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” In verse 6 Paul asks, “Lord what do you want me to do? Then the Lord said to him (Paul), Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The Lord did not tell Paul what he must do, but that someone in the city would tell him what he must do. In Acts 9:9, after Paul went into the city, “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” Paul was worried sick and very upset. He had just found out that all the years in his zeal, while persecuting the Lord’s church, he had actually been persecuting the Lord. Paul was devastated and broken-hearted in finding out that he had been wrong all these years.
Let’s see now what Paul was told what he must do. In Acts chapter 22, a man named Ananias, who was sent by the Lord, came to Paul and miraculously restored Paul’s eyesight. Notice what Paul was told by Ananias what he must do. Acts 22:16, “And now why are you waiting? Arise, and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Paul was not saved three days earlier while on the road to Damascus, as some people would like for us to believe. Paul up to this point was still lost, because he still had all his sins that needed to be washed away. Paul still had a sin problem. Obedience to the Lord’s command to be baptized was necessary to wash away Paul’s sins. At the point of baptism every sin that we have ever committed will be taken away, if it is done for that purpose. Have you been baptized for the purpose of having your sins washed away? If you have not, then you still have a sin problem. You are still lost.
Paul was not told “to pray the sinners prayer and ask Jesus to come into his heart in order to be saved.” This is foreign to the scripture. You cannot find anywhere in the Bible where anyone was ever told to do this. Since God in the Bible has never told anyone “To pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart in order to be saved”, who else but men could have come up with such an idea? Forgiveness occurs in the mind of God and not on the basis of man’s feeling in his heart. Only when we have done what Godhas said that we must do, will God forgive our sins. We cannot devise our own plan as to how our sins are to be forgiven.
Do not misunderstand. We do not “earn” our salvation by being baptized. Salvation is a gift from God. Even though salvation is a free gift from God, he has laid down certain conditions upon which he will give it. One condition to receive his gift is faith: Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Another condition of his free gift is repentance: Luke 13:3, “Unless yourepent you will all likewise perish.” Another condition is baptism: Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Still another condition is living a faithful Christian life: Revelation 2:10, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”The conditions include doing all “the will of the Father,” Matthew 7:21. These are God’s conditions. Believing in God and Christ with all our heart, repenting of all our sins, confessing Christ and being baptized are all equally important to our salvation. If any of these are lacking, then we will not be saved. You can’t have one without the others.
There is nothing that we can do to merit salvation. Whether it be believing in Jesus or being baptized, we can never “earn our salvation”. The only way we can show our faith in Christ is if we are willing to accept and obey what He says. But it is in baptism that God has chosen to impart his wonderful grace of salvation to us as a willing believer.
According to the Bible, it is at the point of baptism, that we pass from an unsaved state into a saved state. In other words, at the time of baptism, we go from being unsaved to being saved. We read in I Peter 3:21 (KJV), “The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us.” The Bible says that “baptism does now also save us,” but men say that “baptism does not save us.” This is very similar to the situation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God in Genesis 2:17 told them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” But Satan told Eve in Genesis 3:4, “Then the serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die.” Satan only added the one word “not” to what God had said and completely changed the meaning. That is what men are doing to God’s commands today. Who are you going to accept, the word of men or the Word of God? We are told in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” On the Day of Judgment, the Bible will still say that “baptism does also now save us.” Again the choice is yours, but it is very serious. We dare not make the wrong choice.
What is the “one Baptism” of Ephesians 4:5?
As you know, there are several different kinds of baptisms discussed within the New Testament. Matthew 3:11 mentions three: baptism of water, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and baptism of fire. John the baptizer says, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” There are also several baptisms mentioned under the Old Covenant. These are referred to in Hebrews 9:10 where it says “divers washings.” The word “washings” is translated from the Greek word baptizo. This is probably something similar to what the Pharisees practiced as mentioned in Mark 7:4 and Luke 11:38 where the verb “wash” is also translated from the same word. Matthew 20:22 also speaks of a different kind of baptism–a baptism of sufferings. Finally, we come to Acts 8:38 and we see Phillip taking the Ethiopian down into the water and baptizing him based upon the confession of Christ. So we have at least six different ways in which the word is used in the New Testament.
There is baptism:
1) in water of John,
2) of the Holy Spirit,
3) of Fire,
5) of Suffering, and
6) in water of Christ.
Which one is the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5?
The context of Ephesians 4 is religious. So first and foremost it must be speaking of a holy baptism, not a common one. This eliminates No.4 above. That is, the “one baptism” of which Paul speaks is not the common baptism of washing plates and cups before you eat out of them. Paul is clearly discussing a holy baptism, given the context of his discussion.
Second, Paul does not indicate that baptism should be taken in any way here other than some kind of literal baptism. In other words, the context does not indicate that the one baptism that Paul is discussing is a baptism of suffering or something like that. Just as there is one Lord, one Father, one faith, one hope, one Spirit, there is one baptism. Those other “ones” are pretty much referring to literal things. So the one baptism must be something equally as literal. This eliminates No.5 above.
What about baptism of fire? Well, in going back to Matthew 3:11, we look at verse 12. It says, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” This does not sound like salvation to me. This sounds like condemnation. Baptism in fire is something that you don’t want. Jesus will baptize in fire those who have not obeyed his gospel at the second coming according to 2 Thessalonians 1:8. So, I am sure that this is not the baptism that Paul was discussing in Ephesians 4:5. Paul was speaking of matters that relate to salvation, not condemnation. That eliminates No.3.
What about John’s baptism in water? Here was a baptism that many received in that day and age. It was in water and many thought it was related to salvation. We see this baptism in Acts 19:1-7. These twelve men in this passage were baptized with John’s baptism. But Paul tells them to be baptized with Christ’s baptism–the baptism that mentions the Holy Spirit. This is what Christ commanded in Matthew 28:18-20. He said that the disciples were to baptize “into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” John’s baptism did not do this and so they had never heard of the Holy Spirit prior to Paul. So Paul baptized them properly. From this, we know that the one baptism could not have been John’s baptism. Paul specifically dealt with this issue in regard to the Ephesians. This eliminates John’s baptism from being the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5 (No.1 above).
This leaves us with two different baptisms to discuss: the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and water baptism in the name of Christ. Let’s look at Holy Spirit baptism first. Note John’s statement in Matthew 4:11. He says, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” John’s point is that he is MERELY baptizing in water, but the one coming after him is going to baptize with two additional elements. A) the Holy Spirit, B) fire. First, we call attention to the fact that these two baptisms are administered directly by Jesus. This is an important point. The contrast that John is setting up is that he baptizes in water, but Jesus would baptize in the Holy Spirit and in fire. No one but Jesus can administer these baptisms. Second, notice that the baptism of fire is limited to the chaff. Would it not make sense to say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was going to be limited as well? Third, notice that in the great commission, Jesus tells his disciples to administer baptism (Matthew 28:18-29 and Mark 16:15, 16). This baptism was to be administered to all who would believe. The baptism of the commission was baptism in the name of Christ, by water. We know this from Acts 8 and the Ethiopian Eunuch. So we have the following from Matthew 4:11:
1. John baptized in water.
2. Jesus baptizes in fire, and the Holy Spirit.
3. Only Jesus can administer the baptisms of fire and of the Holy Spirit.
4. Baptism of fire and the Holy Spirit is limited.
5. Baptism in the commission is not limited, i.e. it is for the whole world.
6. Baptism in water is the baptism of the commission.
Now, let’s turn to Acts 1:5. In this passage, Jesus says, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” The context tells us that Jesus was talking to the apostles (v.2 and 4). They were going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So we know what baptism of the Holy Spirit looks like per Acts 2:1-4. It is not water baptism. It is not baptism that is for the whole world. It was a limited baptism administered by Jesus to the apostles in Acts 2, per Jesus own words in Acts 1. There is only one other instance of Holy Spirit baptism within the New Testament and that is in Acts 10 when the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius on his household. Concerning this situation, Peter says in Acts 11:15, 16, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” So Cornelius was baptized of the Holy Spirit as well. However, you will notice that in Acts 10:48 Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. They had already been baptized in the Holy Spirit, so now, in what is Peter commanding them to be baptized if not water? Well, if Holy Spirit baptism is the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5, then why was Cornelius and his house commanded to be baptized in water? We conclude from this that while Holy Spirit baptism is an involuntary baptism, water baptism is a baptism of command, that is, a voluntary one.
Now, notice the following regarding water baptism in the name of Christ.
1. It is baptism that is for all, not merely limited to some.
2. It is a baptism that can be administered by men, not only by the Lord.
3. It is baptism that all can participated in.
4. It is the baptism of the great commission.
5. It is a voluntary baptism that results from command.
Holy Spirit baptism is as follows:
1. It is a baptism that is limited to a few.
2. It is a baptism that is directly administered by Jesus, not men.
3. Only those who Jesus personally selected participated in it.
4. It is not the baptism of the great commission.
5. It is not a voluntary, but an involuntary baptism and thereby, not a baptism of command.
Now which baptism would the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5 be? It wouldn’t be limited because Paul cites it as a unifying factor for all believers. It wouldn’t be directly administered by Jesus because Paul says that this is part of our endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It wouldn’t be based upon who Jesus personally selects, because the unity of the Spirit is for all Christians. It would be the baptism of the great commission because that is the authority under which Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians. It would be a baptism that was voluntary because the context says that we must endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit and this throws the whole discussion into the area of voluntary obedience. It has to be a baptism that is a uniting factor for the church and so all must have been able to participate in it. Now what is the baptism that fits this context? It must be water baptism in the name of Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Does Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:11 imply the Devil was an angel?
How do the passages Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:11 affect the answer you gave about Satan being a fallen angel? Please explain what Isaiah 14:12-17 is referring to. What does verse 12 mean when it says, “O, Lucifer, son of the morning?”
Isaiah 14:12 reads in the King James Version, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Many have taken the word “Lucifer” to refer to Satan. In fact, our modern culture accepts this word as being synonymous with Satan. Modern culture, however, should not be our standard for applying definitions to the Bible. If one were to look in a dictionary regarding the word “baptism” a number of things would show up. No doubt among those things would be sprinkling and pouring of water onto someone’s head. Should we accept this modern definition for baptism and insert it into the Biblical text? Absolutely not. We find by studying the Bible that baptism is a burial (Romans 6:4) and that therefore we must be immersed in water to be properly baptized. The same is true here. Just because modern society accepts the word Lucifer to refer to Satan does not necessarily mean that this passage is referring to Satan. In contrast to the KJV, the American Standard Version reads, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!” You may have noticed that in the ASV the same word that is translated “Lucifer” in the KJV, is translated “day-star.” This is the better translation of the Hebrew word and you will find that most modern day translations use this same phrase to translate the word.
You may be wondering where the idea of Lucifer as Satan first got started. Well, according to Smith’s Bible dictionary, Jerome first taught this. Jerome lived from 331 A.D. to about 420 A.D. He was best known for his work in translating the Old and New Testaments from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. This became known as the Latin Vulgate. It was completed in 405 A.D. The Latin Vulgate was the predominant translation used from this time well into the second millennium. It was not until the reformation when the Bible was translated into other languages (such as English and German) that the Latin Vulgate lost its popularity. But the Latin Vulgate was still influential in these translations. The King James Version was not immune to its influence and the King James translators chose to use the Latin word here for their translation. This reflected the doctrine that Jerome taught regarding Satan. That is how we got the word “Lucifer” in the King James Version of the Bible. But was Jerome’s understanding of this verse correct?
There is really no indication in the context of this verse that Isaiah is speaking historically about anyone except about whom he specifically identifies. Notice in Isaiah 14:3, 4. “And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!” Isaiah specifically says that this passage is referring to the eventual destruction of the King of Babylon. In other words, this is a prophesy regarding the fall of the King of Babylon. The prophecy is couched in proverbial language (as Isaiah specifically says). This is language that is figurative in nature. Why should we take it to refer to anything else other than this man? Considering that the person about whom it is speaking is specifically mentioned and considering that this passage is full of figurative language, there is no compelling reason to believe that Isaiah was speaking about anyone except the King of Babylon.
Now, this certainly does not mean that Satan does not share these same attitudes. In fact, there is no doubt that when sin is involved Satan is behind it. However, that is quite a different thing from saying that this passage refers to the history of Satan and his aboriginal relationship with God.
The word “Lucifer” merely means in this passage, “morning star” or “day-star.” This was a common name given to ancient kings to honour their position of power in the world. History records that this appellation was used not only in the Babylonian kingdom as Isaiah records here, but also in reference to other ancient kings as well. It would have been consistent, in his historical setting, for Isaiah to use this term to refer to the king of Babylon, as others would clearly understand to whom he was referring.
The second passage that the question poses is Revelation 9:11. This verse reads, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” The Hebrew word Abaddon and the Greek word Apollyon both mean “the destroyer.” The king of this passage is in reference to the king of locusts that were released at the sounding of the trumpet of the fifth angel in 9:1. In this verse we read, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” Is this “star” that fell the same one as the king of the locusts? Well, I will admit that it is possible, but the context is so highly figurative that it is difficult to come to any specific conclusions about which individual this specifically is and to what all these locusts are referring.
The Bible says that many angels fell due to sin (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). What would make us think that this king is not one of them? Is it possible that this passage could be talking about Satan? I will admit that it is possible. However, the question that we need to ask is: “Is it conclusive?” I just don’t think that it is conclusive.
So I don’t think that these passages change my answer in regard to what I said about the Bible teaching that Satan was once an angel. No Bible passage conclusively says that Satan was once an angel. Was Satan a created being? Yes, he was. Was he fallen from grace? Yes, he fell from grace. Was he specifically an angel that had fallen from grace? The Bible just does not specifically say whether he was an angel or not. I will readily admit the possibility of that being true. But for us to dogmatically say that this is the case is to go beyond the evidence that is presented within the text.
What does the New Testament have to say about tithing?
The answer is absolutely nothing. The New Testament has no command to tithe (give one-tenth of one’s income and property) such as was done in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 27:32). Christians are instead commanded to give a free-will offering as they have prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2). You might also read 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 as they contain a lot of material on the subject of giving as well.
If you have a more specific follow up question on this subject, or any other Bible questions please let me know by sending your questions via E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org or click on this link: Ask your Question
Are You Saved When You Pray The Prayer Of Salvation or Believer´s Prayer?
We have a number of different examples of people obeying the gospel in the Bible, and none of them involve what is known as the “Prayer of Salvation” or “The Believer´s Prayer.”
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”Matthew 7:21.
The Lord made the plan of salvation plain not only in words, but also by giving us examples of how to be saved. If what was done in the New Testament scriptures made Christians of the people of the Bible, then, it will make Christians of us today if we do the same things.
- In Acts 2:22-38, we have this example. Peter is preaching about the life, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven of Jesus.
Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.Â
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
According to what Peter said you must repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to be forgiven of sins. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
- And again Peter preached about Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch and in Acts 8:36-39 says,
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn´t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” These passages tell us several things;
- first, even though the word baptize means immerse, some people still question whether sprinkling with water is good enough. We have no example in the scriptures of someone being sprinkled and if Peter were going to sprinkle them, there would have been no reason for the two of them to get into the water.
- Secondly, the Ethiopian did not begin rejoicing until after he had been baptized. It wasn´t until after he was baptized that he had fulfilled the will of the father.
- And after the baptism, apparently God thought Peter´s work there was done, because he didn´t take Peter until after the baptism.
- Phillip preached when he went to Samaria.
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12.
The Apostle Paul Wrote About His Own Conversion
- In Acts 22:16, we read about the Apostle Paul´s conversion, and he was told
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”Saul (Paul) at that point already believed. But his sins were not yet forgiven. ThatÂ´s how we have our sins forgiven. There are eleven different examples of people becoming Christians in the Bible, and all of them include being baptized.
Jesus Said . . .
- Even Jesus himself said,
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16.
Do My Sins Affect My Soul?
Those who believe in the impossibility of apostasy argue that sins of the flesh, the outer man, do not affect the condition of the soul, the inner man. Hence, the inner, spiritual man, the soul, cannot be lost because of the deeds or sins performed by the flesh. A number of passages show this type of thinking is false (Matthew 15:18-19; II Corinthians 7:1; Colossians 3:5-6; Ephesians 5:3-6; Romans 8:12-13; Galatians 5:19-21, 6:7-8).
However, two are especially simple, useful and easy to be understood. “Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11). Sins of the flesh do affect the soul. They “war against the soul.” Further, in II Corinthians 5:10, the Spirit saith, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Could language be plainer? How, then, can Calvinists argue that sins of the flesh do not jeopardize the destiny of the soul?
Was Peter the first Pope?
When a sincere Bible student pick up his Bible and read everything the Bible says about Peter, he would only discovered that nothing was said about Peter being the first Pope!
The words pope and papacy are not found in the Bible. The idea of this office originated much later than the first century after Christ. Therefore Christ’s church which is described in the Bible had no one in this position.
Peter was an apostle (Matthew 10:2) and a preacher (Acts 2-5) but never claimed or received superior authority over the apostles.
Peter, according to today’s qualifications, could not have been pope. He was married (Matthew 8:14). He was rebuked by Paul“because he was to be blamed” (Galatians 2:11). This shows he certainly was not fallible. When people fell down at his feet to worship him, he said, “Stand up; I myself also am a man” (Acts 10:26).
Jesus is the foundation of His church (I Corinthians 3:11).Jesus is the head of His church (Colossians 1:18). No normal body has two heads.
The scriptures, which are inspired of God, give us instruction in righteousness and completely furnish us to all good works (II Timothy 3:16,17). Since the office of pope and the appointment of popes is not mentioned in the Bible, who started the idea – God or man?
Call no Man Father
Does the Bible say anything about the use of the word “Father” as a religious title?
Jesus said, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). The Lord was speaking to the multitude and to His disciples. He was teaching them to accept no religious title that would elevate one above another. “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matthew 23:8,10).
The religious title, Father, is not approved in the Scriptures, hut was introduced after the Scriptures were complete.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works“(2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Jesus said, “And call no man your father upon the earth…” (Matthew 23:9). The religious title, Father, was not introduced until after Jesus lived on earth and the Scriptures were complete. The Scriptures perfectly furnish us in all things that are right and good.
When the religious title, Father, was introduced, did it originate with God or man? For a complete explanation of God’s will on this subject or any other, read your Bible, God’s word.
Remember that when one teach for doctrine, the commandments of men, one’s worship would be in vain, you have got to do it right according to the word of God! (Matthew 15:8, 9).
Can we call a preacher ” reverend” or “pastor”?
The same principle that Jesus taught would apply to any title that would give one man in Christ’s body preeminence over another.
Jesus said, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called master: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matthew 23:8-10).
The word “reverend” is used only once in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. “He commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name” (Psalms 111:9). The word reverend refers to God in this passage.
The word “pastor” is found only once in the Bible (Ephesians 4:11). In the Lord’s church (the New Testament church, the church of Christ) in the New Testament, this was the same office that is sometimes described by the word “elder” or “bishop“. There was always more than one man in this office in a local congregation (Titus 1:5,7; Acts 14:23). Therefore, in the Bible, we have no mention of any “preacher“, or any other man, being the “pastor” of a congregation. The men appointed to this work of pastor, elder, or bishop had to meet certain qualifications listed in 1 timothy 3:1-7; and Titus 1:5-9.
Since we find no reference to “The Reverend John” or “The Reverend Paul” in the Bible, God’s word, we know that this practice must have originated somewhere other than in the mind of God. Hence, its practice renders our worship and service vain before God, our Father (Matthew 15:8,9; Colossians 3:17).