“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1
Can men speak flowers into existence? Can men breath life into non-life?
Galaxies, planets, water? Can we judge men in heaven or hell?
No, mankind has no such power. All men fall short and die (Rom. 3:23).
When God “saith” something, it is law, authority, truth, and ultimate power.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” – Mt. 28:18
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He conquered death.
His gospel saves all souls willing to obey the conditions of His forgiveness.
This is a Bible fact. If you respect and submit to His power,
forgiveness of sins can be received freely (Mk. 16:16, Acts 2:38).
“something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration;
a distinguished ornament or an object of pride.”
Many have gained much education in all sorts of academic venues, and such is not inherently evil. But can worldly knowledge give you forgiveness of sins? No. Worldly wisdom most times leads to worldly pride. In the days of Paul, the apostle during his evangelistic efforts among the current philosophers of the time, he often came across those who seemed so wise, filled with eloquent speech and charismatic presence. Yet these prominent souls of the era were void of any true education, the kind redeeming them from eternal death. So is there value, spiritual value, in the wisdom of men? In the grand scheme of God’s affairs, no there is not.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Cor. 1:18
Faithful Christians are considered crazy in the eyes of the lost
because they trust in the mind of men and we have faith in the wisdom of God.
Many have gained much power, the power to persuade politicians, governments, media, and global economy, such is not inherently evil. But can such power forgive sins? No. The apostles also had to deal with men who had mighty power, and they did so knowing God was in control of all things. Jesus Himself amidst Roman rule and Jewish tradition never gave impression His authority bowed down to human might.
Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me,
unless it had been given you from above;” – Jn. 19:11
Many have gained much wealth, enabling them to purchase anything they so please, such is not inherently evil. But can riches buy forgiveness of sins? No. So why are you so focused in trusting money over God? It should not be so. Too much of it brings a worldly pride so strong it’s attempts at redemption resemble a camel passing through the eye of a needle.
"Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." – Mt. 19:24
The only hope we have is to humble ourselves to the purpose God gave us in life. The pride of the world leads to eternal death. Take godly pride in understanding (comprehend, grasp, absorb, appreciate) and knowing (knowledge, education, truth) the great I AM.
He is our powerful Maker. He is kind. He is just. He is good.
Let us be joyful in Him.
If you are seeking God according to the Bible, please contact us for studies.
“Let no man deceive you …”
DECEPTION: “a misleading falsehood”
Have you ever had a dishonest salesman speak with eloquent (persuasive) words,
only to sell you a broken and overpriced item?
Perhaps a solicitor trying to get your credit card information, social insurance number?
Most of us throughout life have come across many people who act and say certain things in order to gain our trust, to therefore rob access to our time, and money.
Folks, these same fiends not only operate in our communities via secular venues
but also in regards to religious and spiritual matters.
They did back then, they do so today.
Peddling the Word of God out of context to form their own personal interpretations
while building profit of the backs of naïve minds.
Some do so willingly, others ignorantly (un-educated).
These liars can be very articulate and expressive while delivering words leading you astray.
And if one is not grounded in truth (Jn. 8:32),
if one knows not the Bible therein (2 Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17)
he or she will purchase an overpriced, damaged/perverted/corrupted gospel
that saves no man from sin (Gal. 1:6-10).
Remember, “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” – 2 Cor. 11:14.
He pretends to be someone you can trust in order to have you purchase his lies.
“… with vain words:”
“in vain do they worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments/traditions of men.” Mark 7:7
Deceivers are liars, hypocrites. They enable all sorts of sin (1Jn. 3:4).
They do so by using vain (futile/useless/pointless/hopeless) words and actions.
This results in people not obeying what God wants us to do in love (1 Cor. 16:14).
Not doing what God commands results in a person being damned eternally (forever),
away from the peace and power of God Almighty,
who’s extreme and justified anger comes to set judgment on His Day (Mt. 24:36).
"be not ye therefore partakers with them"
My fellow saints, do not partake (agree and fellowship) with men teaching/preaching falsehood/error/lies. We are no longer to live in such hopeless darkness.
We were born again, away from sinful/deceitful/vain ways.
"formerly darkness, ... light in the Lord"
What happened between darkness and light?
Salvation/forgiveness of sins happened.
HOW did it happen?
A repentant (change of mind and life)
believer (faith in the risen Saviour, the Son of God)
confessing Christ (publicly, verbally voicing out belief in Jesus)
was immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (baptism)
by the power of Christ (in His name, His authority),
and therefore added to His kingdom/church
This truth/gospel comes from heaven and not from men.
Anyone teaching you otherwise is a liar, deceiver, vain worshiper, accursed,
knows not God and has not obeyed the gospel of Christ.
Expose them, mark them, avoid them.
Do not put your faith in a Pope, or a thief,
but rather in Him who can send your soul to heaven or hell.
Have you been separated from darkness yet?
Contact us, we love you.
"walk as children of light"
For all who have already decided to follow Christ in His kingdom.
Let us live faithful till the end (Rev. 2:10).
One Same Mind
Let us reason first with earthly things, shall we? (Jn. 3:12)
No successful company can manage to grow profit without a team of united minds thriving to reach the same goal according to conditions given them.
It is impossible to build lodging with men following different blueprints
divided to construct a common design.
Such brings but discord (disagreement) resulting in no lodging (no safety).
One design plan created by the chief designer with men following the exact
specifications will indeed build together to reach a united goal.
Can we understand such order?
Let us remain in reason as we bring principle to spiritual matters.
The world and its “religions” are divided. That is why they build nothing but houses made with the traditions/hands of men (Mk. 7:8). Thousands upon thousands claiming allegiance to different gods teaching different paths to eternal punishment
(2 Thess. 1:8-9).
All denominations advocate for a different gospel than the One, unique, united Gospel we read of in the Bible. They are to be accursed.
The apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit said such (Gal. 1:6-10).
From Muhammad to Buddha. JW’s to Mormons, to Masons. Catholics and Protestant division (Baptist, Pentecostal, Gospel Hall, Wesleyan, Methodist, Presbyterian, Orthodox, Mennonite, 7th day adventist, Salvation Army, and so on the list goes).
Their forefathers have fallen "away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits
and doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1). In ignorance they continue to imitate blind leaders who remain loyal to the lies past on to them (Mt. 15:14).
These were planted from the lust of flesh
by the world and the prince who birth them (Mt. 15:13).
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away."
(2 Tim. 3:5)
"Is Christ divided?" 1 Cor. 1:4. NO!
You must open your mind/heart/honesty to "the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:" Col. 1:26
Let us now speak of the church/congregation belonging to Christ (Rom. 16:16)
In which unity has been commanded of us (ref. OP).
We are not to allow division entrance into our Master’s kingdom.
Wolves try very hard to do so.
We must be united in order to achieve the same goal. The Word of God does this.
“he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” – 1 Cor. 6:17.
How do we have unity?
If we live by His will and interpretation.
We are to be an assembly of faithful saints working together in all things good
for the furtherance of His kingdom and His gospel truth (Jn. 8:32)
therein saving mankind from the bondage of sin (Rom. 1:16).
God has given us precise, elaborate, and fine-tuned description of His people (Christians) being united in His spirit. He is the Chief Designer.
We are His workers.
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24)
Without unity we collapse, fail.
We must be united in recognizing sin and the harm it brings.
We must be united in the plan of salvation (gospel) given us by God
to remedy the problem of sin/death.
We must be united in the description of His kingdom (Mt. 6:33).
Do you wish to have the One Same Mind God created us for?
You must hear the One Same gospel
(Rom. 10:17, 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
You must believe, have faith/trust in the hope and evidence presented within inspired Words.
(Jn. 3:16, Heb. 11)
You must repent/change your mind and life away from sin,
from the pursuits of worldly things that rust and die,
from the false teachings that enable all iniquity.
From so called "friends" and "family" encouraging you to remain lost.
You must confess publicly Christ as your risen Savior
You must be immersed in water for a spiritual birth washing your sins away
You must remain faithful to His kingdom till His return
(2 Pt. 1:10)
“Whoever believes and is immersed shall be saved”
Jesus Christ (Mk. 16:16a)
If you are willing to change and live for Christ according to His Words.
Contact us. We love you.
Two kinds of people witness the creative intelligence surrounding them everyday (i.e. human beings, animals, nature, galaxies). A believer, and a non-believer. The believer knows all the intricacies and complex intelligence is not a product of random accident, but rather pattern of divine and creative power. The non-believer sees but carnal and physical evolution, the result of godlessness within things holding no hope or evidence. What is the difference between the two? FAITH. The believer has trust (faith) that all this intelligence was created for a purpose and therefore seeks to know the will of God for mankind while on this earth. The non-believer remains lost, a blind fool wondering endless desert of confusion and iniquity.
The same two kind of people, believer & non-believer, look at the Bible. The believer recognizes the immense, irrefutable, reliable, fact founded truth of inspired Words (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The non-believer rather trust in things which have no hope, no evidence.
Two kinds of people witness a repentant believer confessing Christ being immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins. A believer, and a non-believer. The believer knows his sins are washed away by Jesus Christ in the watery grave and so proceeds to obey (Acts 22:16, Rom. 6:3-4). The non-believer sees a man get wet and refuses the gospel call (Mk. 16:16b). What is the difference between the two? FAITH. The believer has trust (faith) in Christ that if he goes in that watery grave as commanded, he will be saved/forgiven and added to the Kingdom of GOD/church of Christ (Acts 2:36-47, 8:36-39). The non-believer remains defiant to this "assurance hoped for," and so he remains lost eternally (2 Thess. 1:8-9).
One cannot see, physically, of the flesh, sins being washed by the blood of Christ in water immersion (baptism), "of things not seen," for it is a spiritual operation (Col. 2:12). So how do we know it happens? Again, FAITH. It is the necessary tool required to make the evidence of the gospel obeyed by mankind. No obedience, no faith.
"And being made perfect, he (Christ) became the author of eternal salvation (forgiveness of sins) unto all them that obey him;" - Hebrews 5:9
"whoever believes AND is immersed shall be saved." - Christ (Mk. 16:16a)
"water immersion now saves us" - 1 Pt. 3:21. How? Yet again, FAITH.
Two kinds of people on earth. The unforgiven headed to hell. The forgiven headed to heaven.
"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." - Matthew 7:13-14
Which of the two are you? your FAITH will determine that answer.
The True Family of Christ
"While Jesus spoke, his mother and brothers arrived and wanted to speak with him.
The terms "mother" and "brothers" are used in the same sense, that of his physical family.
Mary had other children after Christ's birth.
The Lord was informed that his family wished to speak with him.
In order to make an important point regarding priority,
he elevated the relationship from the physical to the spiritual.
His "family," in a more exalted sense,
were those of a spiritual kinship--namely all who "do the will" of the heavenly Father.
Heavenly relationships, which result from obedience, take precedence over the earthly."
- Wayne Jackson, "A New Testament Commentary," p. 29.
In John 6:22-29 we read the Christ going to another area,
and the people who were following him.
Now they were seeking him once they noticed He was no longer with them.
But why where they seeking Him, which kind of nourishment were they hungry for? Apparently not for Spiritual nourishment “which endureth unto everlasting life,"
but for physical “which perisheth.”
Wide is the gate who seek Jesus Christ for what they can physically gain,
such as “profit” (2 Cor. 2:17) and "traditions of men" (Mk. 7:8).
Few therebe that seek Him for knowledge (Jn. 8:32),
His kingdom (Mt. 6:33),
forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16).
How does one lay up treasures in heaven?
By obeying the gospel (Acts 2:38) and being engaged by the gospel
within His kingdom (“created in Christ Jesus unto good works” Eph. 2:10).
One MUST understand, there is no expiry date on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It will never surrender its freshness. It will always have the aroma of righteousness,
taste of forgiveness, and joy of heaven.
It remains relevant today as much as it did yesterday and will for all tomorrows.
It will never rot, dissolve, and retire.
Again, it has no expiry date. It is eternal.
This is the very thing we must labour/work for.
And we are told how, in the pages of the Bible.
One MUST also understand, there is an expiry date on all of us (Rom. 3:23, 6:23).
The One who is the WAY (Jn. 14:6) can remove our debt.
He commanded, and showed us how.
"Whoever believes and is immersed shall be saved."
If you obey and live by this simple and loving gospel, you are sealed in God.
Would you like to be sealed in Jesus Christ?
Contact us for studies!
If you do indeed believe the Word of God/Bible is living,
as per written by the penmanship of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 4:12),
you must show faith/trust in Jesus Christ and do what He says (Heb. 11:6).
"But be ye doers of the word (Jn 1:1),
and not hearers only (Rom. 10:7),
deceiving your own selves" (Js. 2:20)."
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - 2 Tim. 2:15
"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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." - 2 Tim. 3:16-17
Friends, we need not anything more. God has given us His complete and powerful Words/Faith (Jude 3). This is how He has chosen to communicate with us today (Heb. 1:1-2).
Let go the false "Churches" and their leaders. Come visit a group of Christians, and Christians only.
Show Jesus your faith/trust in Him (Heb. 11:6). One who is deceived will not obey the gospel, let alone live by it (2 Thess. 1:8-9). Don't follow the ways/wisdom of mere men (Pro. 14:12). Submit to the will of the great I AM (Js. 4:7). If you believe Jesus Christ is your risen Saviour and are willing to have Him wash your sins away (Acts 22:16), do not hesitate to come visit His people for further assistance as together (Heb. 10:25), created in His image (Gen. 1:27), we help each other be faithful to His kingdom (Mt. 6:33). God bless.
The gospel is simple, powerful and loving. It is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4). This gospel saves all souls (Rom. 1:16) who have faith (Heb. 5:9) to obey (Acts 2:38) and remain faithful to His church (Acts 11:23, Rev. 14:12, Mt. 6:33).
It is eternal punishment to alter, reject and not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God (2 Thess. 1:8-9).
If you are part of a "church" or "religious" view teaching contrary to the Bible/Christ, you must repent (Lk. 13:3) and leave those man made rules/traditions behind (Mt. 15:9, Mk 7:7).
Come be our guest and hear the truth that will set you free (Jn. 8:32).
Who is a DOER of the Word?
The Bible says a repentant (Lk. 13:3) believer (Jn. 3:16) confessing the risen Son of God (Rom. 10:9) who submits to being washed of sins (Acts 22:16) in the watery grave of baptism (Acts 2:38) and therefore remaining faithful till the end (Rev. 2:10), that, is a DOER.
Now the question you must ask yourself, are you a DOER?
Contact us to set up a personal study!
Do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind? Some have and do (Mark 16:16a), many others will not (Mark 16:16b).
For those who have become Christians: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20
Now enters the most important question an honest and seeking heart must ask (Lk. 11:9): at what very moment are we crucified with Christ/forgiven/saved/added, “what must we do?” (Acts 2:37)
Please understand. Many in “religious” error (false teachings, “churches”) will give different and confusing answers (Mk. 13:6), from protestant “faith alone” (Js. 2:24) to Catholic “faith by merit” (Eph. 2:8-9). Both of those vain “faiths” are deceiving, destructive and dead. It will not matter how “good” such “faiths” may seem to us today (2 Tim. 4:3), the end remains the same for such (2 Thess. 1:8-9, Mt. 15:9, Mt. 7:21).
Now for Bible truth/fact (Jn. 8:32), one is crucified with Christ/added to His Kingdom by the very same example, at the very same moment, to which Christians in the Bible were clothed (Gal. 3:27). And that is, when a repentant believer confessed Christ as His risen Savior and submitted to God in being immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins by the authority of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38), he was saved, and added to His church/Kingdom (Jn. 3:5,Mt. 16:18, Acts 2:47). Then, and only then, was a soul crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:3-4) by faith (Heb. 11:6) of obedience (Heb. 5:9). And so it goes today. There is only ONE way (Acts 4:12).
God loves you and will forgive you, but you must accept Him on His conditions, not yours (Pro. 14:12)
There is nothing in this physical life worth your eternal soul in hell (Mt. 6:19-21). Not family, friends, neighbors, co-workers (Lk. 14:26). Not “religious” traditions and “churches” not read about in the Bible (Mk. 7:7). Not drugs/alcohol, gambling, fornication, adultery (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Deny yourself (Mt. 16:24) and all things shall fall into its proper place (Rom. 8:28).
The most precious and powerful truth in life must always be first, according to scriptures. Jesus Christ (John 3:16), His church (Mt. 16:18), His gospel (Rom. 1:16), and obedience to it (Mk. 16:16, Acts 2:38).
“And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” - 1 John 5:8
The blood of Christ forgives sins, and it does so when a repentant believer confessing Him as Savior submits to God in the watery grave of baptism (Acts 8:36, Rom. 6:3-4).
Anyone (or “church”) teaching you otherwise is LYING to you.
Come visit the kind of church Jesus Christ built (Mt. 16:18) and learn truth on all matters of faith (Rom. 10:17).
Devoting = give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to…
Deceiving = swindle, defraud, cheat, trick, hoodwink, hoax, dupe, mislead, delude, fool, a person to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage.
Teachings = the occupation, profession, or work bringing ideas or principles. In this case ideas or principles filled with lies.
1 Timothy 4:1-5
The Coming Apostasy:
In his second letter to Thessalonica, Paul had written of a coming apostasy (2:1ff). That theme is resumed in this epistle to Timothy. The Holy Spirit has spoken (clearly he is a divine person): in “later times” (an expression for the Christian age [Acts 2:16-17; 2 Tim. 3:1) some shall “depart” from “the faith” (the Christian system). There were distinctive identifying traits. (a) Some would listen to “seducing spirits.” “Spirits” are false teachers (cf. 1 Jn. 4:1) who seduce. (b) They would give heed to “doctrines of demons,” most likely teaching concerning demons (demons being the spirits of dead heroes, as that term was used in Greek literature), apparently the worship of dead saints. There is no New Testament record of demons themselves teaching error (v. 1). (c) The teachers would be hypocrites and their doctrines lies. (d) Their consciences would be numb (v. 2). (e) They would practice “forbidding to marry,” e.g., by the dogma of celibacy. (f) The movement would enforce “abstaining from meats” at times (e.g., in certain fasts), which God has created to be used by mankind (v. 3). The foods considered unclean under the Old Testament regime now are “sanctified” (set apart for use as food) through the instruction of the “word of God” and the partaker’s “prayer” (vv. 4-5).
Each of the elements here predicted finds precise fulfillment in the subsequent development of certain early sects (e.g., the second-century Gnostics) and eventually in the corruptions of Catholicism.
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
2 Kings 5, Naaman obeyed God and by faith was cleansed.
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” – James 2:14. No, a dead faith cannot save anyone, which is why an unbeliever will never submit to the Will of God in being washed of sins born again a new creature in Christ (Rom. 6:3-4) added to His church (Acts 2:47, Rom. 16:16).
Sadly, many lost souls have clung to the erroneous ideology deceiving them into trusting a false doctrine concocted by the minds of men (Pro. 14:12). They’ve been willfully trained into seeing words in their minds that are not written in the Bible (Mt. 15:14). Let us have a quick examination of the apostle Paul…
“A highly respected Jew, Ananias by name, came and restored Paul’s sight. This man informed Saul that God had chosen him to know his will, to see the Righteous One, i.e., the resurrected Jesus, and to hear his voice. Saul’s future role would be to bear witness to all people of what he had seen and heard, to Jew and Gentile alike. He was then instructed to “arise, and be immersed” (v. 16). The second verb is in a grammatical form that suggests “have yourself immersed.” The decision for baptism (full immersion in water) has to be made by the candidate himself—not another (as in the case of infant baptism). The purpose was to “wash away your sins.” Immersion puts one in contact with Christ’s blood, the ultimate cleansing agent (Heb. 9:14; Eph. 5:26). In this act, one if “calling on [Christ’s] name” (Acts 2:21, 38). His baptism was not a “sign” of cleansing already received; such an allegation is a serious perversion of truth.” – Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary (www.christiancourier.com)
“Note several points in Rev. 22:14. (a) The mode of cleansing is by the Lamb’s blood (Rev. 7:14). (b) “Wash” is a present tense form, which reveals that one must continually access the cleansing blood of Jesus (1 Jn. 1:7). (c) By virtue of Christ’s sacrifice, the faithful have a “right” to the tree of life. We deserve nothing on our own merit; we can claim everything because of what he did!
We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). This is done when we submit to God’s will, the moment a repentant believer confessing Christ as his savior is immersed in water and washed “for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38).
Don’t die in your sins attending a “church” teaching not found in the Bible, repent of error and come hear truth on all matters of faith (Rom. 10:17). We love you and wish nothing more than to be a family helping each other towards heaven.
It is true in the application of today's world, a great number of souls must repent of "religious" error clung by those we love. A choice is needed, either we continue the erroneous traditions and rules of our fathers (Mt. 15:9), or we break off our ties to false teachings for the sake of the kingdom of God (Lk. 14:26).
Who comes first in your life? (Mt. 6:33). There is no other way but Christ (Acts 4:12), and no other church but His (Mt. 16:18, Rom. 16:16).
Choose wisely and God will cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
Contact us today and come hear the truth on all matters of faith
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
The Gospel versus Human Wisdom:
The Greeks prided themselves on their wisdom. Real wisdom, however, is in the “word of the cross,” i.e., the message of the crucified and resurrected Christ. To the “intellectually elite,” the gospel was foolishness; to those “being saved” (a process, not a one-time act) it was the “power of God” (cf. Rom. 1:16). The so-called “wisdom of the wise” would come to a dead end (cf. Isa. 29:14, LXX). The philosophers of the Greek world were fools compared to the revelation from God (v.20). Compare the modern philosopher who has no idea how the universe came into being—or of his own origin. Instead, he pontificates utterly ridiculous theories.
It was God’s pleasure to save lost humanity (i.e., those who will) through the so-called “foolishness” of the message of the cross, accessed only by those who believe it and surrender to its obligations (v. 21; cf. Acts 18:8). The pride of the Greeks would not allow many of them to accept the simple message of a Savior who died for their sins. So remains the situation with many today. A crucified Messiah was a “stumbling block” to the Jews; such did not fit their perception of a conquering king who would overthrow Rom (cf. Jn. 6:15). To those who truly were wise, however and accepted the sacred “calling” (v. 24; 2 Thes. 2:14), Jesus Christ was the power and wisdom of God. With strong hyperbole Paul declared that the “foolishness” and “weakness” of God is so vastly superior to the “wisdom” and “strength” of men, there is no comparison! (v. 25).
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Gifts Will Cease; Love Abides:
It must be remembered that the theme of love and spiritual gifts are woven together in this context. Some of the Corinthians saints were gloating in their gifts, exploiting them without the needs of others being paramount. One final argument, therefore, is this: The gifts are but temporary in the divine order of things. Love must abide. It is the all-encompassing regulator of moral conduct.
Paul selects three gifts—prophecy, tongues, and knowledge—to be illustrative of the nine mentioned earlier (cf. 12:8-10). These supernatural bestowments will be “done away” or “cease.” Love will go on and on. It will be needed to regulate human conduct indefinitely. The gifts of knowledge and prophecy, for example, came incrementally through the different ones possessing these gifts, but when the “prefect” (literally, “the complete”) has been accomplished, “the partial” will be needed no longer. The partial was the piece-by-piece revelation; the “complete” was the revelatory process brought to its goal. That happened when the canon of Scripture was completed with the death of John the apostle and the culmination of the New Testament record. The common though careless theory that “the perfect” refers to the return of Christ (and/or heaven) fits neither grammar nor the context. It is woefully unfortunate that this segment of Scripture is so seriously misunderstood, and many continue to labor under the illusion that miracles are operative yet today.
Paul employs two illustrations to conclude his arguments. (a) Certain things are necessary for the child-stage of one’s existence. When that phase is outgrown, the youngster’s “toys” are laid aside. The church needed miraculous gifts during its infancy period; when the revelation factor was complete, it was time for more mature development. (b) The era of partial, bit-by-bit revelation, was similar to seeing one’s image in an imperfect brass mirror. When the full revelation of Scripture was completed, the sharp, face-to-face view would be so much richer. While the supernatural gifts are temporary, faith, hope, and love will be operative even after the completion of the canon of Scripture. The former two will find their goals achieved in time; but love will flourish eternally!
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
The Creation Week—Reflections on Genesis
Man has always been intrigued with the theme of origins. Science, however, cannot satisfy that curiosity, for it cannot deal with the question of origins. That is beyond the scope of the scientific method, which requires observation and experimentation.
The first verse of the Bible, though, by divine inspiration, answers the human longing: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This grand affirmation is both factual and literal. In this article, we will simply highlight some important thoughts related to the account of creation recorded in Genesis.
The expression in the beginning clearly reveals that the universe is not eternal. Modern science confirms this. The second law of thermodynamics, which demonstrates that the universe is running down or wearing out (cf. Hebrews 1:10, 11), implies that it had a commencement. Even unbelievers like agnostic astronomer Dr. Robert Jastrow have conceded that “modern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe” (1977, 15).
This initial phrase focuses upon the commencement time. Prior to this event, time did not exist. Though we are not given a precise date for “the beginning,” the time of the creation is not an irrelevant issue. Other biblical considerations clearly demonstrate that the universe is not billions of years old, as alleged by evolutionary date-setters (see Jackson 1989). The fact is, the universe and humankind share a genesis within the same week (cf. Mark 10:6; Romans 1:20).
The eternal source behind the universe is God. Unlike ancient pagan creation accounts, no explanation is offered for the presence of God. He is simply depicted as the existing Creator.
The Hebrew term Elohim probably derives from a root meaning strong. It is especially employed in the Scriptures to emphasize the Lord’s creative power and his sovereignty over the world. The name, as used in 1:1, is plural. Some argue that the plural merely indicates plenitude of power, while others see in this form a subtle suggestion of the Trinity (Stigers 1976, 47), a concept which becomes quite pronounced subsequently (cf. 1:28; 3:22; 11:7).
The New Testament makes it clear that the pre-incarnate Christ was a key figure in the creation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). The fact that Elohim is used with the singular verb bara (created) negates the liberal claim that an early vestige of polytheism is here reflected.
The universe was not self-created, as some modern atheists assert. If matter has the innate power to create itself, it is reasonable to assume that such would be occurring even today. But it is not—as the first law of thermodynamics reveals. One may conclude, therefore, that matter has never had the intrinsic ability to bring itself into existence.
God is said to have created (bara) the heavens and the earth. Bara is used in the Old Testament only of divine activity, and contextual considerations argue that the action of 1:1 involved a creation ex nihilo, i.e., out of nothing (cf. Psalm 33:9; Hebrews 11:3).
The heavens and the earth includes all material elements of the universe in their unorganized compositional condition. And though Scripture does not specifically mention it, apparently even the angels were made at this time, for we are later informed that the entire creation was accomplished within the first week (Exodus 20:11) and that the angels “shouted for joy” when the “foundations of the earth” were laid (Job 38:4-7).
Some allege that there is a vast gap, involving billions of years, between 1:1 and 1:2 (see Deaver 1992, 167-174). There is absolutely no basis for this novel idea, which was concocted in the early nineteenth century as a means of harmonizing the Bible with the evolutionary time scale.
Initially, the earth was without form and void, i.e., this planet did not possess the spherical shape that it now has; it was an undefined mass of matter. Moreover, it was empty of the myriad life forms that would later populate it. Those who argue that the earth at this point was a fully “functional working earth” with numerous forms of primitive biological life (Clayton 1989, 14) do so without any evidence whatever. Such ideas reflect a futile attempt to facilitate the Genesis record to evolutionism.
The original creation was shrouded in darkness as the Holy Spirit of God began to fashion the earth into a place for biological habitation. The expression “the deep” hints that the original consistency of the earth was fluid rather than solid (cf. “waters” in v. 2c).
Then the Creator speaks: “Light, exist!”—and light bathed the planet. The nature of this light is not revealed. It was a temporary source of illumination that marked the days until the sun was made on the fourth day of that first week (v. 14). The New Testament suggests that this original light typified the gospel of Christ, which ultimately was to provide spiritual illumination for the human family (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4). Thus was the divine activity of the first day of the creation week.
That the days of this initial week were literal days is evidenced by the fact that each was characterized by an evening and morning, and by the use of the ordinal numerals in connection with each day (cf. Numbers 7:12ff). There is no justification for stretching the creation days into vast eons of time in order to accommodate evolutionary chronology (Coffman 1985, 29-31). Nor is it legitimate to suggest that there might have been long ages between the creation days (England 1972, 110). Even more absurd is the notion that the expression “first day” was a mere “literary device” for the conclusion of a paragraph (Willis 1979, 83).
Such compromises clearly reflect a mentality that has been influenced by evolutionary considerations.
On the second day of earth’s first week, God made a firmament to separate two levels of water. Actually, “firmament” is not a good rendition of the original word, raqia; “expanse” is better for there is nothing firm about the heaven above us. The original word is employed in different senses in this chapter (cf. vv. 14, 20).
Some believe that the “waters above the expanse” (or literally, in the upper portion of the expanse [see Aalders 1981, 60]) represents the atmosphere whence comes our rain, snow, etc. Others feel that this may be an allusion to a vapor canopy that surrounded the early earth, providing a paradise-like climate on the pristine planet (Whitcomb and Morris 1961, 240, 241; 255-258).
Terrestrial waters were gathered together into one place and dry land appeared on the third day. This obviously involved massive geological movements. Basins were formed wherein the waters drained—“He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the deeps in store houses” (Psalm 33:7)—and land masses were shoved up. This is not to suggest that the earth that then was is identical to that which now is (cf. 2 Peter 3:6), for the great flood of Noah’s day has since intervened.
On this third day, the world of botany was born. God spoke and the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees which were already bearing fruit. Though only seconds old, this fruit must have appeared mature. Note that vegetation came into existence before marine life—a fact in conflict with the evolutionary scenario. There is no way to harmonize Genesis with evolutionism.
The text indicates that these plants were designed to produce after their kind. This expression is used ten times in this chapter, and it is scientifically consistent with the laws of genetics. The word “kind,” which is employed in different senses in the Bible, is, in Genesis 1, almost certainly broader than our term “species,” yet it clearly suggests that all forms of life have not derived from an original source.
On the fourth day, God made heavenly luminaries—the sun, moon, and stars. Some contend that these celestial bodies were “created” (bara) in the beginning (v. 1), but were merely “made” (asah), i.e., appointed as earthly chronometers, on the fourth day. There is no justification for this allegation; it is merely baggage of the gap theory. Note that the fiat—“Let there be . . .”—is used interchangeably with “made” (v. 14; cf. 6,7). Bara and asah are synonyms and frequently are used interchangeably (cf. 1:26, 27; 2:2, 3; 5:2). Had the Lord wanted to convey the impression that the sun and moon merely appeared on the fourth day, he could have expressed it as precisely as he did with reference to dry land in verse nine.
The heavenly bodies were to function also as signs (e.g., for things like weather, navigation, or even in prophecy [Matthew 2:2]). The celestial orbs highlight the glory of God (Psalm 8:3). They also serve to mark the seasons; the revolution of the earth around the sun determines our year, and the journey of the moon around the earth establishes the month.
There is no basis, however, for the superstition of astrology in these passages. Observe also that the Bible clearly teaches that the earth existed before the sun, moon, and stars—a concept at variance with evolutionary cosmogony.
Living creatures of the seas (marine organisms) and birds were made on the fifth day of the creation week. Life was first on the land (plants) and then in the seas. This is the reverse of the Darwinian concept. Moreover, the evolutionary theory asserts that fish appeared millions of years before birds (with reptiles evolving in between these two groups), but that idea plainly contradicts the biblical narrative. There are almost 8,600 species of birds on earth today. Notice that they were made before the “creeping things” (i.e., reptiles [v. 24ff]), which again clashes with the dogma of evolution.
Additionally, on this day God created great sea monsters. This would include animals like the whale. The blue whale can be as long as 110 feet, and weight some three hundred thousand pounds. But the Hebrew term is much broader than simply the whale (KJV); it is a generic term which certainly would include creatures like the aquatic dinosaurs. (For a discussion of dinosaurs and man, see Jackson 1983, 85-88.)
On the sixth day, dry-land creatures were made. Various generic categories are mentioned. Cattle (behemah), creeping things (remes), and beasts of the earth (hayath-haares). These creatures appear to be broadly classified according to their natures (domestic or wild) and locomotion methods (walking or creeping). “Animals are classified in Scripture according to simple characteristics that give quick recognition” (Morton 1978, 154), and not according to any modern scheme that is based upon more complex considerations.
It is absurd to argue, as some have done (Clayton 1977, 151), that the classifications here do not include organisms like insects, amphibians, reptiles, and dinosaurs—suggesting, therefore, these creatures likely existed in some age prior to the creation week. The entire creation was made within the six days of earth’s initial week (Exodus 20:11).
God, i.e., the Godhead (note the plurals “us” and “our” in v. 26) made man (mankind) in his image and after his likeness. This does not imply that God is a physical being. He is not (Hosea 11:9; Matthew 16:17; John 4:24). Nor does it suggest that man partakes of the nature of deity. It does imply, though, that man is clearly distinct from the animal kingdom. He possesses certain traits analogous to his Creator. Humans have esthetic, moral, social, and spiritual components that are unique in this world.
Man was given dominion over the other forms of earth life. This implies the responsibility to conquer and rightly use the planet. One of the great Bible truths so frequently ignored is this: The earth and its creatures are the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1). Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God’s property, and, ultimately, he will give account for his stewardship (cf. Luke 16:2).
For the first time in the divine record, sexuality is explicitly mentioned (v. 27). Humans were created male and female. This reference doubtless prepares the way for the introduction of the holy state of marriage (chapter two). Jesus declared that human gender distinctions existed from “the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6). Humans were never a bisexual blob. Furthermore, Christ did not regard man and woman as late-comers to the planet.
God charged the first couple to multiply and replenish the earth (v. 28). The word “replenish” merely means to fill (cf. Exodus 40:34). It does not suggest refilling the earth after an alleged gap theory catastrophe.
The Lord provided for man’s physical welfare by appointing herbs and fruits for his food supply (v. 29). This may indicate that man, at first, was vegetarian; later, however, meat was clearly assigned as a food substance (see 9:3). Many cultures have traditions which speak of people in the ancient past who abstained from eating animal flesh. As the creation week was concluded, God saw everything he had made, and it was very good. This expression clearly shows that no evil and corruption had as yet invaded the earth’s environment.
Genesis 1 is straightforward, historical prose (not poetry). It is inexhaustibly sublime and is unmarred by absurd mythology or foolish speculation. The first book in the Bible answers one of the most fundamental queries of human curiosity—whence the origin of our universe and mankind?
BY WAYNE JACKSON
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Knoxville, TN 37931
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