Group Number 13
My question concerns 2Chron.34:22-28. The prophetess
Huldah told Josiah that he "shall be gathered to his fathers and you shall be
gathered to your grave in peace. However Josiah ends up dying in a battle. So 1 was Huldah
a false prophet, it dosen't seem to indicate that she was. or 2 does the passage mean that
Josiah would die during the peace that the nation was enjoying at the time. The I believe
that it is the latter.
Huldah was, indeed, a prophetess. Josiah, as you may recall, refused to hearken unto the words of Necho, who said he was a prophet of God. Disguising himself, he went out to resist Necho, king of Egypt, who sought to take his land. Some students of Scripture have concluded Necho was not really a prophet. I do not believe that can be substantiated. It seems to me God would have pointed out if he was an imposter if that was the case. At any rate, Josiah did not actually initate war, but went out to defend his territory against the encroachments of what he conceived to be an enemy.
Josiah did not actually die in a battle, but was "severely wounded " when shot at by enemy archers. He then told his servants to take him away. Placing him in another chariot, they brought him to Jerusalem, where he died and was buried (2 Chron 35:23-24). He was, then, brought to his grave in peace, even though wounded severely in battle, and ultimately dying from those wounds. He died and was buried away from the battle arena. The particular peace of which Huldah prophesied was not seeing the land ravaged by the an enemy in punishment for its transgression (2 Chron 34:28). That took place after Josiah's death.
You show the Catholic Churches in your church listings. Why do you do this?
The listing of the churches by no means constitutes an approval of them. This is a service provided by another company. Perhaps I should point out on my site that the listing does not constitute an endorsement of each congregation. It is intended to be like an electronic telephone book. Also, there are clusters of Catholic churches with whom I am familiar that do not subscribe to the traditional Catholic theology. Thank you for your response.
Will you be commenting later on this thought? That male
and female working together are more in alignment with God and His likeness than male and
female at odds with one another? I would certainly like to hear your comments.
In these devotions, I will not dwell on this aspect of creation, although there is much that could be said. In speaking of the creation of man, the Spirit says, "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female HE CREATED THEM" (Gen 1:27). Again, Genesis 5:2 says, "Male and female created He THEM; and blessed THEM, and called THEIR name Adam ("Mankind," NKJV; "Man," NASB, NIV, "Humankind," NRSV) , in the day when they were created." In both texts, the latter clause is an elaboration of the first one (i.e., "So God created man.")
Peter accentuates the differing qualities of man and woman in his word to husbands. "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (1 Pet 3:7). "Weaker," in this case, does not mean inferior. Nor, indeed, does it refer to physical constitution. The word "sensitive" would probably be more meaningful to us. The idea is that the woman bears Divine traits that make her sensitive, and easy to be affected. Peter's reference to husband and wife being "heirs together of the grace of life" shows that he is not speaking of a hierarchical relationship.
As you might imagine, there is by no means unanimity in the Christian community on this matter. There are many that will take exception to this explanation. Notwithstanding, I hold to it, convinced the scriptures support the thought.
to your daily email devotionals, particularly of the date 11-27-98 titling "Made to
Have Dominion" are you suggesting that the passage in Hebrews 2:7,8 is referring to
mankind? If so, would you please elaborate a bit more on this passage for me.
Yes, the passage is referring to mankind. The passage is a quotation of Psalm 2:7-8, which is David's contemplation of the smallness of humanity, when compared with the vastness of the universe. The point of the Hebrews passage is that the universe was made for mankind, not mankind for the universe. The Spirit points us to the new heavens and the new earth, or "the world to come," as it is often called (Heb 2:5; Matt 12:32; Heb 6:5). That world will be given to redeemed humanity. Jesus spoke of this when He said, But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage" (Lk 20:35).
The passage in question affirms that although man was made for this intent, we do not yet see everything under him. Sin brought man down, and caused the grip of mortality to affect the entire creation. Paul elsewhere calls it the "bondage of corruption" (Rom 8:21-15). However, while we do not see everything under man at this point, we do see Jesus. He is the glorified "Man Christ Jesus: (1 Tim 2:5). he is also the pledge of all those in Him, who will "inherit all things" (Rev 21:7). He is the "first fruits" from the dead, and is a pledge of those whom He will raise from the dead in His own likeness (Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 15:23).
There are other references to this matter, but this should suffice. Man was made for dominion, but does not possess it now. The Lord Jesus, however, Who is our representative at God's right hand, does possess all power in heaven and earth, without everything under his feet. We are to see in Him the pledge of what we ourselves will be (Col 3:4; 1 John 3:1-3). We will not, of course, be coequal with our blessed Lord, but we are "joint heirs" with Him (Rom 8:17).
Where does the soul go after bodily death? Jesus said to the thief on the cross. Surly this day you will be with me in paradise. Yet the Bible also says the when the Lord returns, the dead in Christ will rise first. Where is the soul before all this takes place in the mean time?
The "dead in Christ" refers to the bodies of the saints. That is the "mortal" part of man that will be made "immortal" at the resurrection. Scripture puts it this way, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15:54-56).
The soul of the believer is "present with the Lord" when it is "absent from the body" (2 Cor 5:8). At death, the unseen part of us "departs" from the body. frequently the Word of God speaks of death as "departing" (Gen 35:18; 2 Tim 4:6; Phil 1:23). The extent of being "present with the Lord" is not fully explained in Scripture, nor is a precise place defined. the book of Revelation speaks of martyred souls "under the altar" (Rev 6:9-12). Jesus spoke of Lazarus being "in Abraham's bosom" (Lk 16:22). Some Old Testament saints were said to have been "gathered unto their people" (Gen 25:8; 25:17; 36:29; 49:29.33).
Not only will Jesus the dead bodies when he comes, summoning them from the grave (John 5:28-29), He will also "bring with Him" those who have departed (1 Thess 4:14). Then the souls, which have been with Jesus, will enter the resurrected bodies.
The Spirit teaches us that our resurrection bodies are to be inhabited by us. They will be like a temple compared to our present bodies, which are like a tent (2 Cor 5:1-5). All of this confirms we are more than a body. In death, our souls go to be with the Lord. As I understand it, that experience will not be as great as our final joining to the Lord as complete persons-redeemed spirit, soul, and body. Then we shall be totally like Him--when we see Him as He is (1 John 3:1-2). In the interim, between our dead and His return, our state will be much exalted over our present state, but not as great as it will be in the end.
I believe that the Bible teaches a pre-tribulation
rapture. I was listening to Dr. Gene Scotts tapes on the subject and he said that the
verse in II Thess.2:3 should be read a "catching away" and says that this verse
also teaches a pre-trib rapture. I like the way it fits but am not sure if this can be
included with the other verses concerning the rapture. His argument being that there have
been many falling away in the last 2 thousand years. Do you think this verse fits and do
you believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Thank you
The Word of God does not teach a secret "rapture," or a "pre-tribulation rapture." These are terms students of the Bible have developed and assigned to a body of theology. The term "rapture" is a corruption of the phrase "caught up to together with them" from 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The point of reference there is all the people of God joining together to meet the Lord when He appears. The Thessalonians supposed those who had died would miss the glorious appearing of Christ (1 Thess 4:13). The text in reference was written to assure believers this was not the case at all.
What is more, there is nothing about the Thessalonian text that contributes to the ideas of being secretly removed from the earth, or delivered from a tribulation prior to the end of the world. The text declares the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess 4:16-17). That is anything but secret.
In developing this theme in the fifth chapter, the Spirit affirms the coming of the Lord as a "thief in the night" will mean the destruction of the wicked, not the induction of an earthly tribulation. "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (1 Thess 5:2-3). Lest someone think this is a separate coming, and not the one for the saints, the Lord adds, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1 Thess 5:4).
Paul continues the illumination of this subject in Second Thessalonians. There he pointedly affirms that the wicked will be destroyed WHEN the Lord comes to be glorified in His saints. "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day" (2 Thess 1:7-10).
These very things are affirmed elsewhere in Scripture, and with such remarkable clarity, one wonders how such confusion could have been arisen over this matter. Our glorification, for example, is connected with the appearing of Jesus (Col 3:4; Phil 3:20-21). It is then that we shall be changed "in a moment" to forever be like the Lord (1 Cor 15:52-56; 1 John 3:1-2). Jesus proclaimed He would empty the graves of both the good and the evil with His triumphant shout (John 5:28-29). The Second Thessalonians text states that this time of glorification for saints is precisely the same time the wicked will be destroyed.
On a matter as vital as the coming of the Lord, it is on the part of wisdom to speak in the words of Scripture, and not contrived theological jargon. Whatever may be said for or against the many tribulation-centered dogmas, they have all had their origin with men. Those men have then taken the liberty to bend the rest of Scripture around these ideas, which is a transgression of monumental proportions.
There is not a single clear and doubtless text in Scripture that teaches pre or post or any other tribulation-focused rapture. If this doctrine reflected the mind of the Lord, it would have been stated clearly and concisely by he Lord. As a word of caution, any doctrine that requires an elaborate combination of texts not so assembled by the Holy Spirit, must be viewed with extreme caution, to say the least.
In the final analysis, each one of us is responsible for our own faith and apprehension of the truth. In this reply, I do not intend to challenge or question your own faith. I can see you do have a keen interest in the Lord and His glorious appearing. This is precious in His sight. You will always be safe and right if you speak in the language of Scripture. That, of course, is something enjoined upon us by the Lord (1 Cor 2:13).
How do I approach a
diverse audience with the word of God?
The Gospel of Christ is Divinely designed to reach a diverse audience. Make your focus the Lord Jesus Christ. By that, I mean who He is, and what He has done. The appeal to your audience is that the only reason for Jesus is humanity. The Word would never have become flesh if God were not interested in mankind. That makes Jesus relevant.
The remission of sin, access to God, and abundant grace are all matters that are for both the believer and the unbeliever, the weak and the strong, the beginner and the mature. As you develop such grand themes, the Spirit will apply them to your readers and hearers.
When you know some of the individuals that are in your audience, you can show the application of Christ and His work to their case (like spiritual leaders, the backslidden, or those who are caught in deep sin, and have never come to Jesus).
In my judgment, we should avoid getting caught up in contemporary issues, allowing them to obscure the Lord Jesus.
Above all, remember that God is with you as you speak for Him. he is able to give you wisdom to deal with an audience of extreme diversity.
Is there anything in the Bible that excludes women from
being Pastors? A church I'm planning to visit has a female Pastor and I'm a bit confused
about this. Thanks!
The Word of God speaks to this subject, but not with as much clarity as some desire. The primary text on this matter is found in 1 Timothy 2:12. "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence." A "pastor," or "shepherd" has certain qualifications that indicate women were not included; i.e., "husband of one wife" (1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:6).
Having said that, it is possible for extenuating circumstances to exist. There may, for example, be a congregation of only women (Miriam, Moses' sister, led the woman--Ex 15:20). Also, there may be one in which there are no men with spiritual knowledge or understanding. In either case, God will not allow the sheep to become malnourished because there is no competent man to teach. The thing that is forbidden is the usurpation of power--a domination over men, or seizing the power.
One further consideration is prompted by the rare appearance of women leaders during old times. Deborah, for example, was a judge. In fact, she was the ONLY woman judge, and was also a prophetess (Judges 4:4). She was no ordinary lady, but an extraordinary one. Another woman of this caliber was Huldah, a prophetess of old time with whom even priests conferred (2 Kings 22:14). In both cases (Deborah and Huldah) the name of their husband is also stated. This confirms they were not unduly assertive, but functioned in strict accord with Divine gifts, or abilities.
Here is my opinion--and it is precisely that, an opinion. You should exercise caution in attending a congregation that has a woman pastor. Such a condition is right ONLY if the lady has unusual spiritual insights, possessing an extraordinary understanding of the things of God that is not possessed by men in the congregation. If this is not the case, she should subject herself to those with equal or superior knowledge, and not insist on the leading position. Should others request her insights, competent spiritual leaders sanction her teaching, that would also be acceptable.
We have no examples of women pastors in the Bible, though there are examples of prophetesses (Ex 15:20; Neh 6:14; Isa 8:3; Lk 2:36; Acts 21:9). Armed with these Scriptural presentations, you must ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to do what is right. He will faithfully direct you.
What is the Holy spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is the unobtrusive
member of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By "unobtrusive," I mean He
operates in the background, not drawing attention to Himself. He is called "the
Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11), because He comes from God and makes the things
of God understandable. He is the One who moved men to write the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21).
The Holy Spirit is given to those who receive Christ, and dwells within them. In this
sense, their bodies are called "the temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians
6:19). The Holy Spirit comes to make us spiritually strong, so Christ Himself can dwell,
or live, within us (Ephesians 3;16-17). Having the Holy Spirit is the way in which
"seals," or marks, us as His own (Ephesians 4:30). In other words, we belong to
Him in a special way.
The Holy Spirit is also referred to as "the Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11), and "the Spirit of His (God's) Son" (Galatians 4:6). He is called this because He comes to make Jesus real to our hearts and minds. He (the Holy Spirit) comes to help us to see, or understand, Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and enthronement at the right hand of God. It is only as we see these things that we become able to live for the Lord (Ephesians 3:15-20).
The Holy spirit also comes to change us--to make us like the Lord. The Word of God calls this being changed "from glory to glory" by the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). He assists us in obtaining Divine qualities in our lives. These are called "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25).
How could I tell the Holy spirit is with me?
We know we have the Holy Spirit by evidence. It is
something like the wind. We cannot actually see the wind, but we see the evidence of its
presence, whether in the gentle moving of the leaves of the tree, or the destructive force
brought on by a tornado or hurricane. Jesus referred to this kind of evidence in John
The Word of God tells us of the "fruit of the Spirit," or what He produces in us. When we see these evidences, that is our proof that we have the Holy Spirit. Mind you, it is possible to have the Holy Spirit, yet not know it because of a weak understanding. When, however, you have faith in Christ, and confess Him as Lord, you have evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is also promised to all who repent and are baptized (Acts 2:38). When, for example, you see your love for Jesus growing, it is because the Holy Spirit is working within you. He sheds abroad, or fills your heart, with the love of God (Romans 5:5). He also causes you to "abound in hope," looking forward to Christ's return and your consequent presence with Him (Romans 15:13). Also, when you are able to subdue sinful tendencies within, successfully resisting the devil, you have evidence you possess the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures put it in these words, "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:13-14).
What do you consider to be the heart of the Restoration Movement's plea? Is there just one plea or are there more?
That the Lord Jesus Christ is the focus of our faith, faith
in Him is the means of realizing reconciliation with God and unity with fellow believers,
and the Word of God is the exclusive means through which truth is appropriated and
disseminated. These thoughts are reflected in the axioms, "No creed but Christ,"
and "No book but the Bible."
Having said this, I must also admit this is not what the contempoary Resoration Movement is noted for. There has been a serious departure from these noble objectives that is of much concern to many of us.
How would you go about trying to get people interested in learning more about the history of the Restoration Movement? That is, how would you make it alive and exciting rather than dry as dust?
The answer is to be found in the constituents of the
movement--the people who make it up. Uncovering the history of the Restoration Movement is
of no value unless it is supported by godly evidence among those who profess to have
embraced it. Having preached in hundreds of Restoration Churches, I can tell you they are
generally weak--very weak--in the faith. They are plagued with Scriptural illiteracy and
disinterest. Generally speaking, the preaching to which these people are regularly
subjected is deplorable, lacking both substance and power. These conditions negate any
profession of having any form of organizational or spiritual purity. This is a source of
great heartache to me.
In my judgment, our presentation must NOT be of the Movement itself, but of the principles upon which it was established. Somehow, the Lord Jesus, His great salvation, and the unfathomable power of His Word must again be powerfully declared and effectually embraced. This is not taking place--at least, not on any noticeable scale. The great sermons of Campbell, Scott, etc., were not about a movement, but the Lord Jesus Christ, His great salvation, and its accessibility and relevance to their generation. That kind of preaching made the Movement live then, and it will do it again.
There must be a return to great Christ-centered preaching. That is the appointed means of opening up the Gospel, and people being saved. As long as we are noted for our programs and highly organized and structured institutions, God will not honor our efforts.
To put it another way, those within the Restoration Movement will be spiritually sterile until they SEE what the Restoration fathers saw, proclaim it without shame, and build upon it.
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