QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 87
Can a pastor or people of a church performing someone's baptism fully know, understand, or judge the degree, depth, or quality of the baptizee's repentance? Couldn't it be said that John the Baptist was premature in denying those Pharisees and Sadducees (vipers) baptism by pre-judging them? Maybe they really repented and sought baptism. John may have been assuming. Who are we to judge what is between a person and their God?
First, of themselves no one knows anything pertaining to the heart or spirit of a person. That is why the Scriptures affirm, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" (1 Cor 2:11). However, there is a wisdom that comes from God -- a wisdom that results from fellowship with Him. That wisdom does not have to do with perceiving the intentions of the heart as much as with perceiving the fruitage of the heart. True repentance evidences itself, and the person who walks in the light will be able to perceive that evidence. If there is any doubt about the matter, measures should be taken to remove that doubt. That can come through prayer and a proper evaluation of the fruit of the individual on the part of those doing the baptizing, for a tree is known by its fruit. On the part of the one being baptized, some confirmation of their intention should be given.
Please pray for a preacher I know. He has been involved in several affairs, and recently I discovered he was having an affair with my wife of 18 years. He has been diagnosed as a sexual addict.
I am appalled that such a man could function as a preacher. It is a disgrace to the household of faith, and causes the Word of God to be blasphemed. It brings dishonor to the God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not prefer to call him a "sexual addict." That is a miserable psychological term, and by no means describes the situation. This is a man who has been captivated by the devil -- "held captive to do his will" (2 Tim 2:24-26). He is a slave to sin, for Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (John 8:34). Solemnly the church is told, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people" (Eph 5:3). The KJV reads, "not be once named." In this case, it was not mentioned once, but multiple times.
I will pray for this man -- but not in the way in which some desire. Paul did not tell the believers in Corinth to pray for the fornicator among them, but to expel him from their presence. He was to be "handed over to Satan" for "the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the last day" (1 Cor 5:5). The Spirit does not spell out all that is entailed in the "destruction of the flesh" -- whether it was the destruction of the "sinful nature," as the NIV suggests, or if it meant God would take his life, as He did with some in Corinth who brought contempt upon the Lord's table (1 Cor 11:30). The point is, that he was not to be allowed among the people of God in his sinful condition. In fact, the Spirit even prohibits believers from eating with such a person (1 Cor 5:11).
You have a right to be angry, for God is "angry with the wicked" every day (Psa 7:11). Your anger, as I am sure you know, must not lead you to sin yourself, for we are to "be angry and sin not" (Eph 4:26). It must not provoke you to conduct yourself in an unbecoming manner before the Lord -- like taking matters into your own hands. There is such a thing as "perfect hatred" -- a hatred that is prompted by the Divine nature, not the flesh (Psa 139:22).
If this man does not repent -- and it is obvious that he has not done so to this point -- he will be damned. Fornicators and adulterers "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9). God is completely intolerant of such behavior, and has said so repeatedly. There is no excuse for what . . . has done. There is no suitable explanation for his conduct. It is the kind of sin that can only be done after you quench and grieve the Spirit, thrust the Word of God from your mind, forget that you will be judged, ignore the promised return of the Lord, and determine to commit the sin. A place has to be made for the devil, lust has to be indulged (even though the Word says to abstain from it), and those who wear the name of Jesus must be despised.
I commend you for speaking up about the matter. Also, my heart goes out to you. I will be praying for your faith, encouragement, and wisdom.
I am writing again about the preacher who was involved in an affair with my wife. Hatred has entered my heart. I've recently discovered that flags have been raised at his current church. I've informed the leadership of his past and current history and sad to say they were less than interested.
Hatred for the wrong reason is sin. But there are right reasons for hatred. David was not condemned for saying, "I hate the work of them that turn aside" (Psa 101:3; 119:128), "I hate every false way" (Psa 119:104), "I hate vain thoughts" (Psa 119:113), "Do not I hate them that hate Thee . . . I hate them with as perfect hatred" (Psa 139:21). Solomon said, "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Prov 8:13). It is said of God Himself, "The wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth" (Psa 11:5). On one occasion, while in a synagogue, Jesus looked over the crowd "with anger" because of the wickedness of their hearts (Mark 3:5). There are things that anger God, and fornication and adultery are among them.
Hatred has not entered your heart, it has entered your mind as a response to something God hates, and for which He will thrust souls from His presence. You are not the one at fault here, and you must not allow the old serpent to transfer the slightest tinge of guilt to you.
I was staggered to the depths of my soul when you spoke of "his current church." Is this adulterer and whoremonger still preaching? Is he still soiling the body of Christ? Jesus does not allow a fornicator of any degree to even eat with His people, much less preach among them. I fear that you are beholding the miserable state of the churches as well as the presence of a wicked man.
Keep looking to Christ, and separate yourself from religious bodies and people who tolerate such iniquity as well as those who commit it. That is what the Lord says to do (2 Cor 6:14-18).
I have a couple of questions. Is there any biblical reason to anoint ones house--as in blessing the house and dedicating it to the Lord? My wife wants to do this and I'm not sure that it is necessary or more importantly, biblical.
Jacob anointed a pillar because the Lord appeared to him at that place (Gen 31:13). This was not done by Divine direction, nor was it specified as being needful or necessary. It was the expression of a tender and sensitive heart.
Moses anointed the tabernacle and everything associated with it, together with Aaron and his sons who ministered in it (Lev 8:10; Num 7:1). This was done according to the commandment of the Lord (Ex 30:26-31).
Mary anointed Jesus' feet with ointment, willing His feet with her hair (John 11:2). She did this without any command from the Lord. There is not indication that it was either needful or necessary. Yet it was received because prompted by an honest and good heart.
I see nothing wrong with what your wife desires to do, as long as it is prompted by a good heart. The question here is not whether it is needful or necessary from the standpoint of Divine injunction, but if she is doing this unto the Lord. Sensitive hearts and tender consciences, in my opinion, should be allowed to express themselves. After all is said and done, this a matter of conscience.
<< Second, I notice that at first glance, it seems that your website doesn't tell someone how to be saved. If I am a searching individual and I happen across your site, how do I know? >>
The purpose of my website is the edification of the saints. One might ask Paul why "how to be saved" is not included in His letters to the churches. The same inquiry might be made of John, Peter, James, and Jude. As confirmed in the case of the Apostles and others who preached the Gospel, instructions concerning how to be saved were given when people asked (Acts 2:37; 8:36; 10:22,48; 16:31-33). Notwithstanding, for searching souls, I have also included the following page on my website. http://wotruth.com/about.htm#BELIEVE-7
I would like to know what is your doctrine/teaching on be "saved". If a person is still saved if they have not received the baptism or infilling of the Holy Ghost.
Salvation is nowhere said to be contingent upon being baptized with the Holy Spirit. The phrases "receive the baptism" "the baptism of the Holy Ghost," or the "infilling of the Holy Ghost" are not used in Scripture. These are expressions men have created, and which are used to convey their own understanding. God did not use such phrases, so men ought not honor them as though they were inspired. It is most unfortunate that some have used these terms to define whether or not people are saved. Such a teaching would mean the Apostles were not "saved" before they were baptized with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Such a postulate cannot be supported.
Salvation is "by grace through faith" (Eph 2:8). Jesus said a person who "believes and is baptized" will be saved (Mark 16:16). Paul said if one "believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" he would be saved (Acts 16:31). Peter sited Joel's prophecy that "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). Peter also declared "that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved" (Acts 15:11). Romans 5:11 says we "shall be saved by His life."
Regarding appropriating salvation, I have written a brief summation that can be accessed on my website: http://wotruth.com/about.htm#BELIEVE-7
Do you believe that there are still apostles operating as the five-fold ministry.
Again, the phrase "five-fold ministry" is a term conceived by men. It is not in the Scripture. The text to which you refer does not exhaust the ministries in the church. It is Ephesians 4:11. There are several other "gifts" mentioned in First Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and First Peter 4. I assume you are familiar with these texts. There are not five gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4, but four, the latter being "pastors and teachers." That is a single office, as indicated by both the English and the Greek. The KJV version uses a semicolon to separate each of the four gifts. Other versions use a comma. There is no comma used between "pastors and teachers." It is a statement of the two sides of a single gift: "pastor" from the standpoint of caring for the flock, "teacher" identifying the means through which he feeds them.
There are some "apostles" mentioned who were not among the "twelve," nor are they classed with Paul, who stood by himself as "THE Apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom 11:13). Others who were called apostles include Barnabas (Acts 14:14), and James the Lord's brother (Gal 1:19). These, however, were apostles sent forth by the church, and are not in the same category as the Apostles sent forth by Jesus. Jesus chose "twelve apostles" to be with Him, and whom He sent forth in a special way, as none others were sent (Matt 10:2; Mark 3:14). They are referred to as "the twelve apostles" (Lk 22:14). When Judas "fell by transgression" (Acts 1:25), they were referred to as "the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:26). Following the appointment of Matthias, they were referred to as "the twelve" (Acts 6:2). They are described as having their twelve names upon the "twelve foundations" of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 21:14).
These are the "Apostles" placed "first" in the church (1 Cor 12:28). Nearly twenty-five years after Pentecost, Paul went to Jerusalem to meet those who were "apostles before" him (Gal 1:17). He gives no indication that they included anyone other than the original ones chosen and sent forth by Jesus. Peter referred to these apostles as "the apostles of the Lord and Savior" (2 Pet 3:2).
Apostles sent forth by the church are not themselves the foundation of the church, as are the Apostles personally sent forth by Jesus (Eph 2:20). They are simply servants, like Barnabas, sent forth by the church, and are not included in the "gifts" mentioned in Ephesians 4:11.
A regular visitor to our assembly recently engaged me in a conversation about Satan. He believes that Satan is "not an actual being, but merely a representation of anything opposed to God." His reasoning for this is that "God cannot create evil, so God did not create an evil being." Have you ever heard of this belief? What can I share with this man from Scripture regarding this idea? Thank you for your assistance in this matter. I appreciate your ministry.
Yes, I have heard this doctrine espoused. It is another example of the futility of purely human reasoning. The expression "anything opposed to God" is a bit generic, to say the least. Opposition implies personality, intention, will, and aggression. These are characteristics of a rational being, and cannot be ascribed to anything impersonal.
First, the visitor does not solve his dilemma by saying God did not create an evil being. He must tell you the source of "anything opposed to God." Did such spring into existence on its own? It is categorically affirmed that "without" Jesus, was "not anything made that was made" (John 1:3). Everything, whether personal or impersonal was made "by Him and for Him" (Col 1:16). Thus, his convenient philosophy has only compounded his problem. He cannot account for evil, whether personal or impersonal, by ascribing to an independent origin.
Second, what does he have to say about man? It is true that God does not create evil, and yet, apart from Christ, there is "none righteous, no not one" (Rom 3:10). We read of a "wicked person" in the church at Corinth (1 Cor 5:13), and "wicked men" in 2 Thessalonians 3:2. Were these people created by God in a state of wickedness? Of course not, they were individuals who had "sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).
Your "visitor" must not only account for the devil, he must also account for the angels "which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" (Jude 1:6). He must also account for Adam, and the whole human race who requires a Savior and salvation. If a fall can account for evil men, it can also account for the devil himself, as is alluded to in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18. Both of these passages are indicting men who took upon themselves the qualities of Satan himself.
Third, if Satan is a mere representation of anything that opposes God, then why is not "God" representative of anything that is good? What form of reasoning will allow a man to attribute wickedness to something impersonal, but ultimate goodness to the Person of God?
By going to the book of Revelation to justify his limited view, it appears that he is reasoning backward. He reads of opponents such as the first and second "beasts" the "false prophet," and the "harlot." Then he is taking other terms in the Revelation, such as "Satan," "Apollyn," "Devil," "serpent," and "dragon" (Rev 2:9,10; 9:11; 12:3) as descriptions of those entities. But that is not the case. Satan is the one animating and controlling those forces -- not a symbolic term applied to them. Each of the Revelation texts makes this quite clear.
Please tell me what source of a study book would you recommend for amplification of the King James Bible?
The Amplified Bible is very helpful. It elaborates on the technical meaning of various key Greek words. Well over 90% of all historical and standard commentaries elaborate on the wording of the King James Version. Also, as simplistic as it may sound, a Bible with a center reference column is excellent. Those are standard study notes that have been in place for many years. They provide cross-references to other verses of Scripture that have similarity to the particular verse to which they are linked.
A good Bible Dictionary is also helpful to assist in the meaning of older and fuller words like sanctification, lasciviousness, justification, impute, etc. These are good words that hold much more meaning than many of the alternative words that are used in contemporary versions of Scripture.
How do you relate Acts 2:38 and the scripture that Nicodemus asked Jesus how can he enter the Kingdom of God to salvation. The bible says that we must be born of the water and the spirit, and also that when we are baptized and repent, we shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Notice, I did not refer to the exact scripture, because I know you know where they are and I am not trying to impress you, I am just trying to declare the revelation and truth of this matter.
I understand being born of the water and the Spirit to occur at the same time -- each one testifying to the truth of the other. A person is born again once, just as surely as Jesus was raised from the dead only once.
The receiving of the Holy Spirit is the consequence of the new birth, for the new life cannot be lived apart from the Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit cannot dwell within an unrepentant and untrusting soul. As you already know, Peter did not say men ought to receive the Holy Spirit, but that upon repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, they would receive the Holy Spirit. He stated this promise was to all -- even we Gentiles who were "afar off."
The Word of God knows nothing of a born again person without the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, there multitudes of people in the American church who have gone through an empty outward procedure, without having either faith and repentance. While we cannot always clearly detect such people, God can. Those whose heart is not in the matter will not be given the Holy Spirit. However, when their hearts are right, God will do what He said. This is a great source of comfort to me. It is particularly gratifying when we find evidences of the Spirit's presence within us. As you know, these are things known only to those who are actually participating in the life of God. They are hidden to everyone else.
"A church wedding is a sham. It is a commercial undertaking that has little or no religious meaning, the church is just a pretty backdrop for one's wedding photo's." What reasons or evidence might be put forward to both support and reject this statement?
I see no need to support or reject this statement. I was married in a building dedicated to God, and it was no sham, nor was it a backdrop for wedding photos. The statement is a foolish one with neither intelligent nor spiritual support. It represents a personal opinion that is wholly without any support. We are called to do whatever we do as unto the Lord, giving thanks to Him -- and that includes getting married. If the person making this statement is saying people cannot be married as unto the Lord in what is called "a church wedding," they are simply wrong, and do not know what they are talking about. They are not qualified to make such a statement. Where a person chooses to be married is a matter of conscience.
If Christianity is based on compassion why do some churches not allow divorce? Please can you include in your answer any Christian teachings to marriage and divorce.
Christianity is not based upon compassion, but on the Lord Jesus Christ who shows compassion. The center of true religion is Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished by His death, burial, and resurrection.
Divorce is allowed by God under certain conditions -- fornication (Matt 5:32), and the unwillingness of an unbelieving spouse to dwell with a believing one (1 Cor 7:1 Cor 7:15). Those who choose to divorce for other reasons are on their own, and will have an opportunity to give an account for their choice on the day of judgment.
God has gone on record as saying, "I hate divorce" (Mal 2:16). Those who wear His name must therefore do all within their power to avoid divorce. Should an occasion arise that justifies divorce, God will be gracious. If there are people who have gone through divorce in violation of God's will, they must appeal to the mercy of God. God will show compassion on those who go to Him with contrition of heart, and a determination to "sin no more."
As for churches that do not allow divorce, that is not a decision any church can make. If God allows divorce under certain conditions, woe to the church who supersedes God by refusing to allow it.
After saying all of that, those who wear the name Christ ought to learn to hate divorce like God does. They will be better able to avoid it with that frame of mind.
I am asking you again to resolve my understanding. Is the speaking of tongues evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost?
What prompts a question like this? Certainly nothing that God has said. The question is one provoked by men and the teachings of men, not God. No one in Scripture asked such a question, and thus no one in Scripture gave a suitable answer to it.
God nowhere declares that any particular experience is "evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost." He does speak of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22;-24), which is certainly proof of His presence. Putting to death the sinful deeds of the body is also said to be "through the Spirit" (Rom 8:13). The love of God is "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Rom 5:5).
On the day of Pentecost they "spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). That event, however, is never set forth to any church as the proof of having received the Holy Spirit. In fact, it is nowhere preached as a common experience for all who receive the Holy Spirit -- nowhere. What is more, the tongues they spoke in were understood by those who heard them (Acts 2:11). None of the people on Pentecost were seeking to speak in tongues, and Jesus had given no indication to them that they would happen when they were endued with power from on high. That is something the Spirit did, and it was productive and for the glory of God.
In Acts 4:31, some of the same people who were filled on the day of Pentecost were again filled with the Holy Ghost, "and they spake the Word of God with boldness." Yet, who is the person who would make that the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. The language is precisely the same.
I suggest that your question is not a proper one -- that is, it is not one that is ever asked in Scripture. For that reason, it cannot be satisfactorily answered. It just is not the right question.
I have been looking in vain for where the Bible speaks of gambling.
The Bible does not speak of "gambling." Some might consider the "casting of lots" as a form of gambling -- as when the soldiers cast lots for the seamless "coat" of Christ (John 19:23-24). However, John is careful to say, "They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: THAT THE SCRIPTURE MIGHT BE FULFILLED, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did" (John 19:24). Among God's people, the casting of lots was not gambling, but a way of asking God to resolve an issue for which no answer was apparent (Lev 16:8; Josh 18:6; Neh 10:34; Acts 1:24-26).
For those who are able to perceive it, gambling contradicts the Divine mandate to earn our bread through work. That was the judgment resulting from the first sin: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen 3:19). Throughout Scripture reference is made to this judgment. Solomon spoke of the person who tilled his ground being "satisfied with bread" (Prov 12:11), and having "plenty of bread" (Prov 28:19). Paul reminded believers, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thess 3:10). He also commanded those who stole, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, WORKING WITH HIS HANDS THAT WHICH IS GOOD, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Eph 4:28). Gambling does not harmonize with the mandate to earn what we need by labor.
Gambling is also closely related to covetousness, or the lust of the eyes (Col 3:5; 1 John 2:16). In fact, I do not know how a person can gamble without being covetous. That, however, is only my opinion.
Gambling also tends to enslave those who indulge in it, confirming that it is an area in which Satan is unusually active. The Scriptures declare, "for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (2 Pet 2:19). Further, as soon as a person begins to serve anything or anyone other than God, the relationship with God is ruptured, for "no man CAN serve two masters" (Matt 6:24).
Gambling falls into an area in which spiritual reasoning is necessary. There is no commandment that specifically forbids gambling. There is no Apostolic admonition or exhortation that immediately addresses the subject. As you must know, a multitude of things fall into this category. The approach to them all is to be determined by following this manner of godly thought.
1. Can I do this to the glory of God, giving thanks to Him through Christ? (Col 3:17).
2. Does this practice make a place for the devil? (Eph 4:27).
3. Does this promote thinking about things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy? (Phil 4:8)
4. When I examine it carefully, is there something good in it that can be retained? (1 Thess 5:21)
5. Does this contribute to making me more pleasing to God? (Col 1:10)
6. Is this something that contributes to spiritual growth? (Eph 4:15)
7. Does this promote watching for the return of the Lord, and do I want to be found doing this when He does come? (Mark 13:35-37)
8. In this activity can I draw near to God? (James 4:8)
9. Are godly or ungodly influences associated with this practice? (1 Cor 15:33)
10. Can fruit to God be realized through doing this? (Rom 7:4)
These are only a brief sampling of the type of inward examination that God expects from His people. He does not spell out every problem, or provide specific answers for every question. Many issues of life are resolved by living unto the Lord and refusing to do anything that faith does not allow. That is what is meant by the statement, "whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom 14:23). If we cannot do a thing heartily, to the Lord, and in full confidence that it is right in His sight, then we must not do it.
No person can answer these questions for another person. It is the nature of spiritual life to demand personal thought and decision. It is in the process of pondering such matters that the Lord draws near to us and directs our way, as He has promised. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." (Prov 3:5-7)
What does there is a whirlwind in the thorn tree mean in the Bible?
I know of no Scriptural reference to "a whirlwind in the thorn tree." I have examined the King James, New King James Version, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, and Revised Standard Version. None of them contain this phrase. Is this something that you have heard from someone, or is there a certain version of Scripture in which you have read it?
The word "thorn tree" is not found in any standard version of Scripture. The King James and NIV refer to a "thorn hedge" (MIcah 7:4). The New American Standard version refers to a "thorn bush," which is translated "thistle" in the King James (2 Kings 14:9). None of those references, however, are associated with a "whirlwind." But there are no references to a "thorn tree."
I know that I am a Christian but I still afraid to witness to my friends who are not Christians. What does the Bible say about this and how do I overcome this feeling of being scared to witness to my friends?
The Bible does not command us to witness to our friends who are not Christians. It DOES say we should "let our light" shine before them -- that is, live a life in which God can be seen (Matthew 5:26). The Bible DOES say that we are to be "ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have" (1 Peter 3:15). The Bible DOES say, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).
You will overcome being scared to witness to your friends when you are comfortable in the presence of the Lord. To put it another way, when you know in your heart that God is for you, you will also know that no one can effectively be against you (Romans 8:31).
Jesus said the person who believed on Him would experience waters flowing out from him. Here is what He said. "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38, NIV). John explained in the next verse that Jesus was speaking about the activity of the Holy Spirit (John 7:39).
You must work on having more of Jesus in you -- more of His Word and Spirit in you. As you are filled up with Jesus, He will come out, and you will not be afraid.
Be strong now, and ask the Lord to help you grow in Christ and be bold. He will answer your prayer.
Do you have the gift of tongues?; and do you relate the gift as being the Holy Ghost within you?
Because of the sectarian approach to speaking in tongues, and the judgments people make upon the basis of this subject, I choose not to answer the question. Whether I do or not speak in tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with my acceptance with God, Christ dwelling within, my name being written in heaven, overcoming the world, or obtaining an eternal inheritance. Such things are never associated with speaking in tongues. This is a gift God alone can give. It does not make a person superior in any way, or provide spiritual advantages over others. I take the same position as Paul -- that prophecy is preferred above speaking in tongues (1 Cor 14:5) -- and he spoke in tongues.
Why did my husband of 35 yrs marriage commit adultery again even though he told me he knew what he was doing was wrong but he couldn't help himself? Why was he tempted beyond what he could bare? He was supposed to have been saved over 20 yrs ago.
He lied when he said he could not help himself. He was NOT tempted above his ability, for God does not allow such things to happen. The Lord always makes a way to escape, and your former husband (which I prefer to call him) did not take the way of escape that God provided (1 Corinthians 10:13). God did not lie, your husband of 35 years did.
He committed adultery because he wanted to. He made a place for Satan to enter his life. He looked and lusted. You cannot commit adultery accidentally. Whether or not your former husband was "saved over twenty years ago" is not the issue. It is whether or not he is saved now, for "TODAY is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). Adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9). They are people God judges, not saves (Hebrews 13:4).
How can my husband believe he is saved & going to heaven when he isn't sorry for what he has done as he has filed for divorce from me & has been living with this much younger woman now for over a year and refuses to support me in any way?
Your former husband believes he is saved and going to heaven because he is deceived. Satan has control of him, taking him captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:24-26). He has committed several most serious sins. First, he looked at a woman to lust after her (Matthew 5:28). Second, he made a place for the devil (Ephesians 4:27). Third, he did not resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8-9). Fourth, he did not use the shield of faith to overcome the devil (Ephesians 6:16). Fifth, he allowed himself to be drawn away by his own lust, commit sin, and die toward God (James 1:14-15). Sixth, he committed adultery (Rom 13:9). Seventh, he took another man's wife (Lev 20:10; Matthew 14:3-4). Eighth, he has denied the faith by not taking care of his own household (1 Timothy 5:8). Ninth, he has not acknowledged his sin (1 John 1:9).
You must ask the Lord to help you to forget this man. When you think upon him, it only causes hurt and difficulty. Let him go, and let God deal with him.
But, it is amazing to me, while you give such good counsel, you teach against the very foundation of all righteousness ! A few weeks ago I approached you in regards to the Seventh Day Sabbath . Your reply was that it was just for the Jews ! Is that really true ? When God blessed the Seventh Day at creation and "sanctified" and "hallowed" the 7th day of each week; did He make a mistake ? When God speaks, does He ever make a mistake and have to change His Holy Word ? NEVER!
As an expert in God's Word, you should know that righteousness does not come from the Law -- in any sense. In fact it is categorically stated that righteousness is now being made known "WITHOUT the law" (Rom 3:21). A point is made of Abraham receiving righteousness before the law, and independently of it (Rom 4:13). Christ is declared to be "the end of the Law FOR righteousness" (Rom 10:4). It is further stated, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal 2:21). The Law was never intended to give life, as is clearly affirmed in Galatians 3:21.
The Law is good, holy, and spiritual -- but it is not intended to be a foundation for righteousness. If that is what you are suggesting, you could not possibly be more wrong, or more at variance with the Apostles' doctrine.
The Law was, indeed, the "words of the covenant." But, this is not the covenant we are under, which is the whole point of the eighth chapter of Hebrews. The new covenant is a better one, established upon better promises, and has obviated the first covenant (Heb 8:8-13). The Law, while still bringing the knowledge of sin and leading us to Christ, is no longer valid as a covenant, or a means to righteousness.
For me to receive what you are saying about the Sabbath day, I need some word from Jesus or the Apostles that affirms what you affirm. You must tell me what Jesus said about the Sabbath. There must be some word to Gentile churches (who knew nothing of the seventh day Sabbath) that says what you are saying. How are those in Christ addressed concerning the Sabbath day?
Jesus said He was "Lord of the Sabbath" (Matt 12:8). What did He mean by that? He said it was "lawful to do good on the Sabbath days" (Matt 12:10). What did He mean by that? He said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:24). What did He mean by that? That is what the Lord Jesus said about the Sabbath day. It is not what you are saying about it. I need to know why you are saying things about the Sabbath day that Jesus Himself did not say, and why you feel a compulsion to do so.
In the book of Acts, there are all manner of references to preaching about Christ, repentance, salvation, grace, justification, etc. There is not a syllable of reference, however, to preaching or teaching about the Sabbath day, or to it being bound upon the Gentiles to whom the Gospel was brought. Why is this so?
In all of the epistles, written to the churches, there is a solitary reference to the Sabbath -- and that is an exhortation to not allow anyone to judge us in regard to Sabbath days (Col 2:16). What does that text mean? Why is it that Paul, Peter, John, Jude, and James do not speak of the Sabbath day as you do? If you expect to be heard, you must explain this circumstance.
There is no reference to the Sabbath day in the book of Revelation, which speaks abundantly of a false church and apostasy. Why is this the case? This book was written to Gentile churches in Asia. Was there no need to speak of the Sabbath day to them?
You have stated your case, imposing condemnation upon me because I refuse to accept our interpretation. I have not condemned you, and refuse to do so, or to sit in judgment upon you. I will now await the day of judgment when the issue will be publicly and finally settled. Whoever is right will be fully vindicated, and whoever was wrong will bow down to the one who was right, admitting that God loved him (Rev 3:9). I am quite satisfied with that arrangement, and will settle for the Lord's decision on the matter. I do not accept your decision.
Now, I exhort you to let this matter rest, and cease your efforts to impose your persuasions upon me. If you say things Jesus and the Apostles did not say, I simply will not embrace them. I expect you to do the same.
Hi dear brother, do you have anything on tithing ... it's background, it's application today? Thanks so much.
LEVI PAID TITHES IN ABRAHAM -- Hebrews 7:5-9
Here is another marvelous principle of Scripture. The Spirit, recognizing the comparison some will make with the Levitical priesthood, further comments on the greatness of Melchizedek. Ordinarily, progression is seen in individuals ordained of God. Here, however, this is not the case. The Levitical priesthood was inferior to that of Melchizedek, even though it came later in time. Ordinarily, that should have made it better, but we are dealing with something different here. Melchizedek was a priest of another order, not belonging to that of the Aaronic and Levitical priesthood. Just as the "better covenant" came before the law (Gal 3:8), so the better High Priesthood came before that ordained under the Law. This speaks to us loudly of Divine intent. From the very first, the purpose of God was to bless the world through His Son.
I want to emphasize this point because of some flawed theology that continues to plague believers. The present ministry of Jesus is a ministry determined before the foundation of the world. It is THE ministry of Jesus for men in this world, and will continue until the world passes away. Real Gaps for a Real Purpose This better priesthood, prefigured by Melchizedek, was vacant from that shadowy figure until Jesus.
There are at least three other examples of this type of Divine working: i.e., something introduced hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years before it was to be fulfilled. Divine intentions were announced and prefigured long before they came in order to introduce men to the coming blessing, and induce hope in the heart! First, in the Garden of Eden, God announced the "Seed" of the woman would deliver a mortal bruise to the "old serpent" (Gen 3:15). Although Eve had several children, including righteous Abel, the promised Offspring did not come for nearly 4,000 years.
Second, the "Seed" of Abraham was prefigured in Isaac, but fulfilled in Christ (Gal 3:16,29). Isaac was Abraham's immediate offspring, but the real Offspring did not come for 2,070 years. First, the introduction of a "promised offspring," then the reality!
Third, God promised David a king would reign on his throne--a king that would come from his own loins. As it is written, " . . . God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" (Acts 2:30). Although it appeared Solomon was the child of promise, the real Offspring did not appear until over 1,040 years later.
In every case, the greatness of the type was owing to its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. Abel, in offering a more acceptable sacrifice, was a type of Christ. Isaac, in being a child of promise, was a type of Christ. Melchizedek, as a king-priest, was a type of Christ. Solomon in all of wisdom and glory was a type of Christ.
It is consistently the antitype that made the type great! Remove Jesus from the picture, and all of the prefigurements are reduced to nothing. God has bent history around the coming of His Son. Divine dealings before Messiah were in preparation for Him. All contemporary and future blessing is because of Him.
Tithing, An Acknowledgment of Greatness
Under THE Levitical Priesthood, tithing was not necessarily a recognition of greatness. It was the provision of God for the Levites, who received no inheritance in the land (Num 18:20-21). However, the priests themselves were to give a "tithe of the tithe" to the Lord, honoring Him therein (Num 18:26-28). It was this latter action that was prefigured in Abraham giving tithes of all his bounty to Melchizedek. It was an acknowledgment of the priests perceived greatness!
Although there is not a word in Scripture about tithing being abrogated, many have taken the position that because it is not enforced upon God's people, therefore it is no longer in place. This position is taken even though tithing antedated the giving of the Law by approximately 600 years. Stating the principle being established, our text says, "Here tithes are received by mortal men; there, by one of whom it is testified that he lives" (7:8, RSV). Traditionally, it is taught that Melchizedek is the "one of whom it is testified that he lives." "Mortal men" are perceived as the Levitical priesthood. If this is, indeed, the case, "here" refers to in the case of Levi receiving tithes. "There," on the other hand, would refer to the record of Melchizedek.
Another view is that "here" refers to the administration of the Law, while "there" refers to prior to the law. My persuasion is that this is a statement of principle. It is fulfilled at three levels. First, in the Levites receiving tithes. Second, in Melchizedek receiving. Third, in the Lord Jesus Christ, God's present High Priest, receiving them. It is witnessed, or testified, later in this chapter that the Son of God lives (Heb 7:25).
Melchizedek is made to be like Christ by withholding information concerning his birth and death: i.e., "Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he abides a priest perpetually" (7:3, NASB). This is another way of saying the only reason for him being in the Divine record is as a type of the Lord Jesus. He was not, however, immortal. One word concerning the position that tithing is never commanded under the New Covenant. The statement is made, "No believers are ever told to tithe." This is true, but it is not as decisive an argument as it may appear. First, with tithing being introduced prior to the Law, it is not necessarily abrogated with the Law. Second, it is first mentioned in association with honor, not with obedience to a commandment.
Third, is was commended by Jesus Himself (Matt 23:23). It is possible that this is a principle recognized in all ages by people of faith. It does not set limits, but defines a way of honoring our High Priest. As a point of principle, believers are not commanded to "worship God" either. It is something that is assumed in the New Covenant. There is no need for the people of God to denigrate the practice of tithing.
One Represents The Others
Again, we have a principle introduced to us that is to be understood: one person being represented by the actions of another. The text states, "And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him" (7:9-10). In this case, Abraham stands for his progeny. What he did is also credited to them. This argument does two things. First, it uproots any notions of the Levitical priesthood being superior or still in existence. If Levi paid tithes to the type of Christ, now that Christ is exalted, that priesthood defers to His. Second, the idea of a representative is enforced in our thinking--something essential to a proper understanding of justification and the New Covenant.
Remember, the promises were made to "Abraham and his Seed . . . which Seed is Christ" (Gal 3:16). Christ, in this case, is the representative of all the justified ones. As it is written, "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:29, NIV). Other statements declaring this principle follow. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor 15:22). "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Rom 5:12). "The many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!" (Rom 5:15, NIV). "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ" (Rom 5:17). "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Rom 5:19, NIV). "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died" (2 Cor 5:14). The perception of this Kingdom principle brings home the power of this text. THE ENTIRE OLD COVENANT SYSTEM HONORED THE SUPERIOR PRIESTHOOD OF JESUS THROUGH ABRAHAM. For people to seek Divine approval, therefore, through the old order is completely unacceptable. God has build into Divine history the acknowledgment of the superiority of His Son!
The argument is strong, and we are obliged to consider it at length. "Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?" (7:11, NASB). Remember, the whole point of valid religion is to bring men into an adequate relationship with God. The Levitical order could not do this! It was remarkably disciplined, and provided for a variety of activities at precise times. There were sacrifice, service, cleansing, and prayer but none of these activities brought men closer to God. None of them produced a cleansed conscience, a hatred for sin, or a love for righteousness. The very mention of a new priesthood in Psalms 110:4 ("Thou art a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek") proclaimed the inferiority of the Old Covenant with its attendant priesthood. It was to be superseded because it was ineffective to fulfill God's ultimate purpose.
In this verse, an insight is introduced that is not, to my knowledge, found elsewhere--at least not with this exactness. The whole Law, with all of its attending ordinances, rested upon the priesthood. Its effectiveness, however measured, was found in the ministry of the High Priest. Notice the statement, "for on the basis of it (the Levitical priesthood) the law was given to the people." The issue here is "perfection," not routine or the fulfillment of a procedure. This is the perfection of conscience--cleansing from sin, if you please. A dedicated priesthood, with precise procedures, and the blessing of God, could not make the people new! With all of their exacting qualifications (Lev 21:17-24), the priests of the Old Covenant could not bring the people one cubit closer to God. Their hearts remained unchanged, their consciences remained defiled, and their steps remained wayward. The people, mind you, received the Law through the priesthood, but it did not effect a change within them! If it had resulted in the renewal of the people, there never would have been a mention of another order of priests. The mention of the new order confirmed the need.
It is fashionable in some church circles for people to view tithing as an Old Testament standard that has no relevancy for those in Christ. That is not what the Word of God says, nor is there the slightest hint in all of Scripture that this is the case. Rather than the tithe being taught by Jesus and the Apostles, it is assumed that everyone realizes it belongs to the Lord. Holy people of God have always tithed--before the Law, during the Law, and after the Law. Before the Ten Commandments, or any word was given from God concerning tithing, Abraham 'paid tithes to Melchizedek,' a mysterious high priest of God that appeared to him (Gen 14:20). After God had appeared to Jacob--a considerable time before the Law was give, or any directives came from God concerning the tithing, he vowed to 'surely give the tenth' to the lord (Gen 28:22). Tithing, then, was not based upon a commandment, but on a sense of God's ownership of all things. It was a way of acknowledging that truth, and faith caused the godly to sense it. Under the law, the tithe was given to support the Levitical priesthood. Because the Levites did not receive an inheritance in the land, and did not own anything, the tithe was the Divinely appointed means of supporting them (Numbers 18:20-21). Paul alluded to this practice as being the same principle through which the Gospel ministry was to be supported (1 Cor 9:13-14). The Lord Jesus, when rebuking the scribes and Pharisees, did commend them for tithing, saying that should have done that (Matt 23:23). In the book of Hebrews, it is categorically stated that the Lord Jesus is now receiving tithes. 'Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives' (Heb 7:8). Some object that the one whom it is witnessed that he lives is Melchizedek -- but this is not the case at all. The death of Melchizedek is not recorded, but no place is it suggested that he lives on, or is immortal. That is something that is true of Jesus alone. And, if He is receiving tithes, obviously someone is paying them. Your friend was wrong. The term 'sacrificial giving' is not in the Bible. It has been concocted by men, most of whom are not noted for the giving practices. Tithing is, of course, the foundation of giving, not the whole of it. That is why the Scriptures speak of 'tithes and offerings.' Incidentally, God said to Israel that they were guilty of robbing Him because they withheld their tithes and offerings from Him. I do not know what would lead a person to conclude this was not possible today.
I guess that is why should not be ashamed to say yeah or nay if that is what you stand on? Because you are so gifted in the knowledge of the bible, it would help if you gave your point of view from the perspective of if you do or don't speak.
You obviously do not understand what I am saying. I mean that I will not allow men to classify me by doctrines unique to uninspired men -- doctrines that God has not taught. If that does not set well with other people, very well. But I still will not allow myself to be classified by the doctrines and interpretations of men. If God does not make an issue of it, I cannot do so. Paul dealt with such issues in the fourteenth chapter of Romans -- matters on which some had differing conscientious views. Concerning such things he said, "Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth" (Rom 14:22). Whatever is a matter of conscience with one of God's people, the Lord says, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Rom 14:5).
There are approaches to teaching that tend to generate questions. We are solemnly told to steer clear of such things. "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do" (1 Tim 1:4). "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings" (1 Tim 6:3-4).
It is written, "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes" (2 Tim 2:23). You will have to decide for yourself what questions those are, and God will help you to do so. If that verse teaches nothing else, it does confirm there are some wrong questions.
I am quite content to give you the liberty to honor your own conscience. I do expect you do to likewise with me. That is one way in which we love one another.
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