Welcome to Chirstian
Bible Studies
for home study

Here are books & manuscripts by many different authors revealing that truth. A wonderful introduction to studying the Bible.

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Step 1 - Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?

Step 1 - Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?

Step 2 - The Canons of the Bible

Step 3 - Bible Study Guides

Step 4 - Individuali in Religion

Step 5 - Sign of the End of Time

Step 6 -Prophecies in the BIBLE BOOKS of Danie and Revelation

Step 7 - Facts of Faith
NOTE:     To better appreciate this book study the prophecies of Daniel & Revelation first.

Step 8 -- The Sanctuary Service

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ADDITIONAL STUDIES:

1 - "Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit

2 - "Saving Faith"

3 - "What is Man" The Gospel in Creation

4 - "A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead

5 - "The Place of the Bible
in Education"
- Vs. - Humanism religion as in the modern school system.

6. Bible As History - by Werner Keller - facts brought to light with relation to the Bible account

7. Three Days and Three Nights In the Tomb - study by Ray Cutts - Study on the timeline of the crucifixion of our Lord.

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May God bless you as you dig for yourself into the treasures of your eternal destiny; into true religion; the truth as it is in Jesus.

2001-2018

 

Another Comforter -- A study on the Holy Spirit -- by W. H. Grotheer -- The designation of the Spirit of truth as "Another Comforter" reveals as no other name could, His relationship with Deity, and His work and ministry in the Plan of Redemption. But much study must precede the significance of this name since this designation was not given the Holy Spirit till one of the last books of the New Testament was written.

In reviewing the Seminar studies presented on the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit at the Adventist Laymen's Annual Fellowship, the reader needs to clearly understand the preparation behind the presentation. We adopted the approach of William Miller as he began his study of the Bible. Sylvester Bliss in his Memoirs of William Miller quotes Miller's own explanation of how he began his investigation of the Scriptures. Miller stated:    -   I determined to lay aside all my prepossessions [presuppositions], to thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture, and to pursue its study in a regular and methodical manner. I commenced with Genesis, and read verse by verse, proceeding no faster than the meaning of the several passages should be so unfolded as to leave me free from embarrassment respecting any mysticisms or contradictions. Whenever I found anything obscure, my practice was to compare it with all collateral passages; and, by the help of Cruden, I examined all the texts of Scripture in which were found any of the prominent words contained in any obscure portion. Then, by letting every word have its proper bearing on the subject of the text, if my view of it harmonized with every collateral passage in the Bible, it ceased to be a difficulty. In this way I pursued the study of the Bible, in my first perusal of it, for about two years, and was fully satisfied that it is its own interpreter. (p. 69)

After having read every text in the New Testament where the word, "spirit" or "Holy Spirit" is found, we determined that "spirit" is applied to different beings and forces at work in the world,and within man. Angels are designated as "ministering spirits." (Heb. 1:14) Demons are noted as "unclean spirits." (Rev. 16:13-14) A deep human emotion is based in what is termed, "spirit." (Mark 8:12)

The perception of one's

p 2 --  presence, though the person is not present, is noted as being present in "spirit." (I Cor. 5:4)

This study was approached with one vital presupposition:     The "form of God" in which Jesus existed prior to Bethlehem was SPIRIT for God is Spirit. (John 4:24) This SPIRIT exceeds that of angels for they are only "ministering spirits." (Heb. 1:14) This SPIRIT is immortal, eternal, and indestructible.

In noting each reference in the New Testament which referred to the Holy Spirit, we arranged the books of the New Testament in the chronological order in which they were written. [This review will not necessarily follow that format] This was done for two reasons:   1)   The revelation which God gives is progressive; and   2)   God in giving revelation limits Himself and the fullness of that revelation to the perceptive capacity of the human instrument who is willing to be the medium of revelation.

We asked ourselves why so little is known of the "nature" of the Holy Spirit? Then we asked ourselves why so little was perceived as to whom Jesus was until after the coming of the Holy Spirit? The answer to the second question helped us to perceive the answer to the first. Jesus came not to do His own will, but the will of God. (John 6:38) He came to glorify the Father. (John 17:4) He did not even come in His own name. (John 5:43) His was a life of selfless projection of the Father's glory - grace and truth. (John 1:14) Likewise the ministry of the Holy Spirit - He would not speak of Himself. He would glorify Jesus and the work which Jesus accomplished. (John 16:13-14)

The very first New Testament reference written in regard to the Holy Spirit clearly declares the Holy Spirit as distinct from a "power," per se. It reads:   -   For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit. (I Thess. 1:5)

This same distinction is also seen in I Cor. 2:4.

[We shall use the word "Spirit" in place of "Ghost" in all quotes from the Bible.]

Many references in the New Testament which mention the Holy Spirit speak of His work in making effective for the believer the salvation provided alone in Jesus Christ. Examples of this can be found in II Thess. 2:13; I Cor. 6:11 and Titus 3:5. Further the Holy Spirit is set forth as a Teacher who searches the deep things of God. (I Cor. 2:10, 13) He bestows "gifts" as "He wills." (I Cor. 12:4, 11) He is the builder of the Church. (Eph. 2:22) He speaks. (I Tim. 4:1) He can be grieved. (Eph. 4:30) He can be insulted. (Heb. 10:29) He can be lied to. (Act, 5:3) All of these statements in regard to the Holy Spirit indicate not a power, nor a mere influence, but rather a Person.

The fourth book written of the New Testament canon (Chronologically) closes with a three-fold benediction - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." (II Cor. 13:14) Language cannot be clearer that the Holy Spirit is as much a Person as are either God or the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet in this same letter, Paul emphatically declares - "The Lord is that Spirit." (II Cor. 3:17) In this third chapter, Paul is contrasting the ministration of the letter under Moses, and the ministration of the Spirit under Christ. While declaring that the Lord is that Spirit, Paul differentiates between Lords in verse 18. Note it carefully using the margin which gives the literal Greek rendering. It thus reads:     But we all, with open face beholding as in a

p 3 --  glass the glory of the Lord [Jesus] , are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Lord the Spirit. (3:18)

The close identification between "the Lord Jesus Christ" and "the Lord the Spirit" is seen elsewhere in the New Testament. Paul declares that Isaac was born "after the Spirit." (Gal. 4:29) Yet in noting the Old Testament account, the "Lord" who appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre said - "I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son." (Gen. 18:10) It was repeated a second time by the same "Lord." (18:14) In Hebrews, it reads - "The Holy Spirit saith" (3:7) - "the Holy Spirit . . . said before." (10:15) - yet both quotes are from the Old Testament. Gabriel told Daniel that the only One who held with him in "the scripture of truth" was "Michael your prince." (10:21) This is further illuminated in the Epistles of Peter. There we are told that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:21) But in his first letter, Peter indicates that these holy men - prophets - "searched dilligently ... what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify." (I Peter 1: 10-11) Thus the New Testament closely identifies the Holy Spirit - the Lord the Spirit - with Michael the "Lord" of the Old Testament. TOP

Paul tells us that God sent forth TWO into the world. "God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law." "God [also] hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son" that we might understand Him as "Father." (Gal. 4:4, 6) This same duality and relationship appears in the symbolism of the book of Revelation. When the door was opened in heaven, John beheld the Throne of God, and before the Throne were "seven lamps of fire" which are declared to be "the seven Spirits of God." (4:5) Yet when the Lamb "as it had been slain" is introduced from"the midst of the Throne" with "seven horns (fullness of power) and seven eyes (complete omnipresence)", - these are declared to be "the Seven Spirits sent forth into all the earth."(5:6)

In the book of Romans, the setting forth of the Holy Spirit is concentrated in Chapter 8. The message there has been largely ignored. We have contrasted this chapter with Romans 7, and ended the contrast with 8:16, as if an entirely different subject began. While the first part of Romans 8 speaks of "the sons of God" resultant from the leading of "the Spirit of God" (8:14), there is yet another "manifestation of the sons of God." (8: 19) In this the Spirit has an important part to play. Though we have "the first fruits of the Spirit" (8:23), we still have the fallen sinful nature. This, the Spirit helps - our "infirmities." This is the same word as found in Matthew 8:17, designating what Christ took in taking upon Himself our humanity. It is also the same word as found in Hebrews 4:15 which tells the why of the compassion of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit that is to make intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Until "the redemption of the body" at the second coming of Jesus Christ, the saints can know they will have an intercessor at the Throne of God - the Lord the Spirit. While the Man Christ Jesus steps aside (Compare I Tim. 2:5 & Rev. 15:8), the Holy Spirit continues His ministry until the living saints are translated. TOP

In the synoptic Gospels - Matthew, Mark and Luke - the Holy Spirit is pictured in direct relationship to Jesus Christ in two experiences - His birth and baptism. The conception is spoken of as "out of the Spirit." (Matt. 1:18, 20b: "of" is the translation of the Greek preposition, ek, literally, "out of.") Luke records the announcement to Mary by Gabriel of God in "flesh appearing." Gabriel stated:      The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy [spirit] which shall be born of thee shall be called the God. (Luke 1:35)

The word, "thing" is supplied in the KJV because the adjective "holy" is in the neuter gender. But this adjective is the same as the adjective describing "Spirit" in the same verse, and thus the missing word to be modified could likewise be the word, "spirit. " This concept is well stated in the Writings: "He (Christ) united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh." (4BC:1147) That "divine spirit" dwelling in a temple of flesh was called "the Son of God."

In Mark, there is a key reference to the Holy Spirit in relationship to the final witness. In Jesus' prophetic discourse, He stated:      When they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but

p 4 --  the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13:11)

So fully will God's witnesses be infilled with the Holy Spirit at that hour, that when they speak, the voice which comes forth will be the Holy Spirit. It will be the"manifestation of the sons of God" as foretold in Romans 8:19. And Jesus gives the time when this shall occur - "the gospel must first be published among all nations." (Mark 13:10) He also tells us where this witness will be given - in councils, in churches, and before rulers and kings. (13:9) TOP

The book of Acts could well be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit. In this book, the Holy Spirit is presented as One in full command of the Church, and its spokesmen, and as One functioning as the Vicegerent of the Lord Jesus Christ. The very introduction sets forth the role of the Spirit as the Vicegerent. Afer Jesus was taken up into heaven, "He through the Spirit" continued to give "commandments unto the apostles." (Acts 1:2) These apostles and others as "spokesmen" were "full of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 7:55; 11:24; 13:9) TOP

The Book of Acts presents the Spirit as in full command of the Church and its spokesmen. He speaks to Philip - "Go near and join thyself to this chariot." (Acts 8:29) Philip obeys, and another witness is born into the kingdom of God, the Ethiopian eunuch. Then the Spirit transports Philip to another place. (8:39) To Peter, as he meditated on the unusual vision he had received, the Spirit said, "Behold three men seek thee . . . I have sent them." (10:19-20) To the leaders of the church in Antioch, the same Holy Spirit said - "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." (13:2) And Paul on his second missionary tour desired to go to certain areas to preach the gospel, but was "forbidden of the Holy Spirit." (16:6-7) Thus, the Spirit is pictured as functioning in His own right, as a Person directing the Church of the Living God.

The Book of Acts also reveals an experience which sets forth the Holy Spirit as God. When two members sought to deceive the Apostles, Peter said they lied "to the Holy Spirit. " Then he explains the extent of that deception - "Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." (5:3-4) The Holy Spirit is
not of the order of the created - men nor angels - but of the Uncreated - God.      
{To Be Continued.}

 As we continue our study of the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, we turn first to the prison epistles - Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. The primary references are found in the letter to the church at Ephesus. There Paul sets forth the Holy Spirit as the builder of the Church. (Eph. 2:22) Then he specifically warned the church - "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (4:30)

In Hebrews, the Holy Spirit is portrayed as One who speaks. "The Holy Spirit saith" (3:7); and "The Holy Spirit . . . had said before" (10:15). The first quote is from the 95th Psalm, while the second is taken from Jeremiah. (31:33) The early church recognized that the Holy Spirit spake "by the mouth of David." (Acts 1:16) However, Jeremiah clearly says that what he wrote was a "Thus saith the Lord." (31:31) There is a relationship between the "Lord" of the Old Testament, and the Holy Spirit of the New. As noted in Part I, Paul declared - "Now the Lord is that Spirit." (II Cor. 3:17) We also noted the same picture in the epistles of Peter. Peter wrote that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:21) Yet these men - prophets - searched "what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify." (I Peter 1:10-11) Peter also adds that this "Spirit" was "sent down from heaven" as a co-laborer with the Apostles as they preached the gospel. (I Peter 1:12)

The final writings of the New Testament - those of the beloved John - give a full revelation of the Holy Spirit which completes the picture and solves for us the problems intimated in the rest of the New Testament, occasioned by the Incarnation. In fact, the test by which we can know we are confronted by the true Holy Spirit, and that the Spirit is indeed guiding a professed messenger of the gospel involves the doctrine of the Incarnation. John wrote - "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God." And how do we know? "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come

p 5 --  in the flesh is of God." (I John 4:2) TOP

There is in the first Epistle of John an interpolation which John did not write, but which those who hold to papal trinitarianism grasp as evidence of the Trinity. In I John 5:7-8, the words beginning with "in heaven" in verse 7, and ending with "in earth" in verse 8 appear in no Greek manuscript of the New Testament prior to the 11th Century. These words were first found in a Latin treatise of the 4th Century, and inserted into the Sacred Scriptures during the noonday of the Papacy. The verses should read:       "For there are three that bare record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

The book of Revelation while using symbolic language adds much to our understanding of the Holy Spirit. When the door was opened in heaven, and John was asked to enter, he saw a throne on which sat the Eternal One - He "which is, and which was, and which is to come." Before the throne were seven lamps of fire which are stated to be "the seven Spirits of God." (4:5) Then John beheld "a Lamb as it had been slain" with seven horns and seven eyes. These horns and eyes are declared to be the same "seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." (5:6) With the fulness of omnipotence, and the completeness of omnipresence, the Holy Spirit is sent forth into "all the earth." But the symbolism indicates that when the "Lamb" as the sacrifice appeared, the Spirit of God was so closely identified with the "Lamb" so as to be even as the horns and eyes are to an animal. TOP

This Spirit speaks to the seven churches. (Rev. 2:7, 17) Yet the messages are declared to be coming from Christ to the same seven churches. (Rev. 2:1, 8, etc.) There is one voice. The voice of the Spirit is also heard speaking of those who have heeded the Three Angels' Messages. (Rev. 14:13) First John hears "a voice from heaven" pronouncing a blessing; then comes the voice of the Spirit which was sent forth into all the earth - the same area to be covered by the angel messages. (Rev. 14:6) The same Person who directed the Church in its beginning as revealed in the Book of Acts also directs the giving of the final messages of God to earth's inhabitants. In fact, the New Testament presents the Holy Spirit as the new commander of the "ministering spirits" in the warfare between good and evil till earth's last hour, when Jesus himself shall return as Lord of lords and King of kings.

There is one final picture in the book of Revelation: - "The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." (Rev. 22:17) Even as Revelation pictures Jesus and the Spirit speaking as one voice so also does the bride of Christ and the Spirit speak ultimately as one voice. A question:  Is this symbolism suggesting that even as the Holy Spirit consumated the Incarnation so that He might be one flesh with us, so also the same Spirit effects the "bride" of Christ so that she might be one spirit with Him?

We turn now to the final revelation in the New Testament concerning the Holy Spirit - the Gospel of John. Here Jesus is recorded as promising to give "another Comforter" to His followers on earth. (John 14:16) In speaking of this "Comforter" in relationship to Himself, He chose the word, allos, rather than heteros. Both words mean, another, in the Greek, but with a difference in the comparison. Thayer in his Greek Lexicon remarks "Every heteros is an allos, but every allos is not a heteros." (p. 29T To see this difference, we have only to note how these words are used in other New Testament references:  Romans 7:23 - "But I see another (heteros) law in my members, warring against the law of my mind."

Acts 7:18 - "Till another (heteros) king arose, whi& knew not Joseph." TOP

Galatians 1:6-7 - "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros) gospel: which is not another (allos); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ."

From these illustrations, it can be seen that allos distinguishes between two of the same kind, and which are on an equal level, while heteros denotes two of a different kind not on the same level. In other words, Jesus was saying that the Holy Spirit was of the same kind as He, but a distinct Being from Him. This is further illustrated in the fact that Jesus called the Holy Spirit, the "Comforter" (paracletos). In his first Epistle, John speaks of Jesus as "an Advocate" (paracletos) I John 2:1.

As Jesus continued the conversation in the upper room, He comforted the disciples with the assurance that He would not leave them orphans, but stated - "I will come to you." (John 14:18, margin) Though He had stated that the Holy Spirit was a distinct Person from Himself, He indicated that in the coming of the Spirit, He would be coming to them. The only way that I have found to express this relationship is to use the term - Alter-Ego. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as a result of the Incarnation are in an Alter-Ego

p 6 --  relationship.

John as he f urther reports that upper room conversation notes Jesus as referring to the Holy Spirit as "He" - "That One" (ekeinos). The text reads - "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He (ekeinos) shall teach ,you all things." (John 14:26) This same designation is used again by Jesus in John 16:7-8, 13-14. The Gospel of John clearly presents the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of truth, the paracletos - a distinct Being, the Allos of Jesus Christ even to the coming "in (His) name."

There is a final revelation we dare not overlook. It was the Holy Spirit who overshadowed Mary. The result:  - Jesus - a new distinct Being - the God-man. In the final hour, there will be earth-people who, when demanded to testify for their faith, will open their mouths to speak. But they will not speak themselves, for being so fully possessed of the Spirit, it will be the Holy Spirit which will speak. (Mark 13:11) Then when all things are made new, the Revelation indicates that "the Tabernacle of God", even Jesus, (John 1:14, Gr.) will dwell with man, and "God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev. 22:3) Again Two as revealed in the Old Testament. But the same revelation in the same context declares the Holy Spirit speaking as one voice with "the bride." (Rev. 22:17) Is not this the same experience as recorded in Mark 13:11, which describes earth's final witnesses? Then could it not be suggested that "the bride" of Christ becomes in consort with the Lamb, the "third" in the picture as a result of the Incarnation, and the wonder of the Plan of Redemption? Even as the "how" of the Incarnation remains a mystery to angels as well as to man, so also "how" this ultimate plan of God will be accomplished remains mysterious. We only read, and wonder, and in faith say as did Abraham - "Amen." (Gen 15:6)

The word translated, "believed" in Gen. 15:6 is the Hebrew word, amin. In the Greek it is amen (verily in John 3:3). In English, we say - Amen (So be it).

Some idea of "the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began" but is made manifest in the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be perceived when one recognizes that "human beings were a new and distinct order." (R&H, Feb. 11, 1902) Man made "in the image of God" was "designed to be a counterpart of God." (R&H, June 18, 1895)

The significance of what this "counterpart" design of God is to be can be perceived in part by a comparison of Scripture. When Christ returns the second time, there will be two groups of the redeemed:   1)  The "corruptible" - those who have died. These put on " incorruption."   2 )   The "mortal" - those who are alive on the earth - put on " immortality." Here is a significant word use in the Greek. The word translated, "immortality", here in I Cor. 15:53-54 is athanasia, and is used in only one other place in the New Testament also in Paul's writings. This other use in I Timothy 6:16 is in reference to God - "Who only hath immortality."

Truly Christ became one flesh with us that we might become one spirit with Him. In a special sense in the revelation which God gave to Him to show to His servants (Rev. 1:1), this applies to the group which that revelation designates as "the remnant of her seed,"  "the bride" of Christ - the 144,000.

This experience can only be ours in this final generation as we permit the mind of Jesus to be our mind. That mind calls for a complete emptying of self, the ekenosen of Philippians 2:7, which in the KJV reads He "made Himself of no reputation." The Greek reads - "But Himself, He emptied."  End. TOP

Saving Faith -- by Dr. E. J. Waggoner -- An article written by Dr. E. J. Waggoner first published in the Aug. 1, 1890 issue of Bible Echo, in the book Lessons on Faith where the article was reprinted, entitled "SAVING FAITH".

  "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above); or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:6-9.

May we accept these words, especially the statement in the last verse, as literally true? Shall we not be in danger if we do? Is not something more than faith in Christ necessary to salvation? To the first of these questions we say, Yes; and to the the last two we say, No; and refer to the Scriptures for corroboration. So plain a statement cannot be other than literally true, and one that can be depended on by the trembling sinner.

As an instance in proof, take the case of

p 6 --   the Jailer at Philippi. Paul and Silas, after having been inhumanly beaten, were placed in his care. Notwithstanding their lacerated backs and their manacled feet, they prayed and sang praises to God at midnight, and suddenly an earthquake shook the prison, and all the doors were opened. it was not alone the natural fear produced by feeling the earth rock beneath him, nor yet the dread of Roman justice if the prisoners in his charge should escape, that caused the jailer to tremble. But he felt in that earthquake shock a premonition of the great Judgement, concerning which the apostles had preached; and, trembling under his load of guilt, he fell down before Paul and Silas, saying, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Mark well the answer; for here was a soul in sorest extremity, and what was sufficient for him must be the message to all lost ones. To the jailer's anguished appeal, Paul replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:30, 31. This agrees exactly with the words which we quoted from Paul to the Romans.

On one occasion the Jews said unto Jesus, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Just the thing that we want to know. Mark the reply: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John 6:28, 29. Would that these words might be written in letters of gold, and kept continually before the eyes of every struggling Christian. The seeming paradox is cleared up. Works are necessary; yet faith is all-sufficient, because faith does the work. Faith comprehends everything, and without faith there is nothing. TOP

The trouble is that people in general have a faulty conception of faith. They imagine that it is mere assent, and that it is only a passive thing, to which active works must be added. But faith is active, and it is not only the most substantial thing, but the only real foundation. The law is the righteousness of God (Isa. 51:6, 7), for which we are commanded to seek (Matt. 6:33); but it cannot be kept except by faith, for the only righteousness which will stand in the Judgement is "that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Phil. 3:9.

Read the words of Paul in Rom. 3:31: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we extablish the law. " Making void the law of God by man is not abolishing it; for that is an impossibility. It is as fixed as the throne of God. No matter what men say of the law, nor how much they trample upon it and despise it, it remains the same. The only way that men can make void the law of God is to make it of none effect in their hearts, by their disobedience. Thus in Num. 30:15, a vow that has been broken is said to have been made void. So when the apostle says that we do not make void the law through faith, he means that faith and disobedience are incompatible. No matter how much the law-breaker professes faith, the fact that he is a law-breaker shows that he has no faith. But the possession of faith is shown by the establishment of the law in the heart, so that the man does not sin against God. Let no one decry faith, as of little moment.

But does not the apostle James say that faith alone cannot save a man, and that faith without works is dead? Let us look at his words a moment. Too many have with honest intent perverted them to a dead legalism. He does say that faith without works is dead, and this agrees most fully with what we have just quoted and written. For if faith without works is dead, the absence of works shows the absence of faith; for that which is dead has no existence. If a man has faith, works will necessarily appear, and the man will not boast of either one; for by faith boasting is excluded. Rom.3:27. Boasting is done only by those who trust wholly in dead works, or whose profession of faith is a hollow mockery.

Then how about James 2:14, which says: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" The answer necessarily implied is, of course, that it cannot. Why not? - Because he hasn't it. What doth it profit if a man say he has faith, if by his wicked course he shows that he has none? Must we decry the power of faith simply because it does nothing for the man who makes a false profession of it? Paul speaks of some who profess that they know God, but who deny him by their works. Titus 1:16. The man to whom James refers is one of this class. The fact that he has no good works - no fruit of the Spirit - shows that he has no faith, despite his loud profession; and so of course faith cannot save him; for faith has no power to save a man who does not possess it. END. TOP

What is Man? -- The Gospel in Creation, pp. 137-138 -- "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [living creature]."

Like the beasts, he was taken from the ground. He is but "dust and ashes." He cannot boast at all, not even over the beasts that are placed under him; for it is simply by the power of God, who can make of the same clay a vessel to honor and one to dishonor, that he is any different from them. The earth is the source whence all animate creatures spring. "All are dust, and all turn to dust again." After death and decomposition the dust of the prince cannot be distinguished from the dust of the pauper, not even from that of his dog. If at the last he does not share the fate of the beasts, and go into oblivion, it is only because he has had humility enough to accept the wisdom that come from God; for "man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish."  "Oh, why should the spirit of mortal man be proud?"

Man is made from the dust, that he may remember that he is nothing in himself; but also in the image of God, that he may know the infinite possibilities before him - association with God Himself; of himself having no more might than the dust upon which he walks, but capable of the greatest things through the power and goodness of God. And strange as it may seem, his capabilities are the greatest when he is most sensible of his weakness. "When I am weak, then am I strong." End. TOP

 

A Convicting Jewish Witness -- by David L. Cooper D.D. -- One day as I was journeying from Los Angeles to Denver, I had a most delightful interview with an elderly Jewish man. I was sitting in the carriage reading my Hebrew Testament when this man appeared at my side. "You cannot read that," he declared.

Immediately I gave him a practical demonstration by reading a passage. With a shrug of the shoulders he asked, "Where did you learn that?"
"In the seminary and University."
"Well you do not know what it means." Again I read it and translated a verse for him.
"Hum - and you are not a Yid," he commented.

Moving over I invited him to a seat beside me and intrcduced myself. My new acquaintance told me his name was Baron. Then we settled ourselves for a chat.

"Can you read this Mr. Baron?" I asked.
"Sure."
At once he read fluently the passage I indicated.
"Now will you tell me what it means?"
He translated with difficulty although he seemed to understand the substance of what he had read.

"Mr. Baron are you acquainted with this book?" I enquired. He turned to the title page. He read the words, "New Testament." He had never seen it before.

Reaching for my grip I pulled out my Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and said; "Mr. Baron I want to ask you a question. What is the meaning of the word Elohim?"
"It means God."
"But," I said, "my teachers have told me that this word means 'Gods."'
"They do not know what they are talking about," he retorted emphatically.
"But Elohim is a plural number".
"You are wrong," my friend declared, "I went to Yeshibah (Rabbinical School) and I know Elohim means God - singular."
"What is the meaning of the word Baal, Mr. Baron?" I in quired.
"Master," was his ready reply.
"What is the meaning of the word Baalim?"
"Masters," was his ready reply, "more than one."
"What is the meaning of seraph?"
"One of the angels," he said.
"Seraphim?" I asked.
"Many of them," he answered, "more than one."
"Then if Baal-im and Seraph-im, mean more than one would not Eloh-im also mean more than one?" He looked puzzled.

"Let us turn to the Ten Commandments, and notice the 2nd Commandment - 'Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.'
Now what does the word 'Gods' mean?" TOP

"It is plural and means many - more than one," he replied and added, "It means all those heathen gods".

Turning back to the first verse of the book of Genesis I said, "You admit that Elohim in the passage we have just seen means 'Gods."' He nodded.
I continued - "Then what about the same word here at the beginning of the book of Genesis." For an answer my companion put his hand to his head in a quick gesture of complete surprise.
"The rabbi did not tell us that".
"Never mind about the rabbi," I rejoined. "If the word is plural and means 'gods' in one instance, then it must be plural in the other instance for it is spelt exactly the same way."
"That sounds right," he admitted, "But I wonder why they did not tell me that at the Rabbinical School?"

"Mr. Baron what is the meaning of Shema (The rabbinical name of the great confession of Deuteronomy 6:4)? I want to ask you particularly about the meaning of the Hebrew word Elohenu? My instructors have taught me that it meant 'Gods,"' I continued.
"Well they are wrong. It means one God."
"What is the meaning of the word Abhothenu?"
"Our fathers."
"Of Eholayenu?" I asked.
"Our sicknesses."
"Pesha 'enu?"
"Our transgressions."
"And Avonothenu?"
"Our sins."
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"Then Mr. Baron," I concluded, "If all these words ending in enu means 'fathers,' 'sicknesses,' 'transgressions' and 'sins,' surely Elohenu means 'Gods' - plural." For an answer my Jewish friend threw out both hands in a gesture of helpless perplexity. "But the Rabbi's," he breathed -

"We are not interested in the Rabbi's just now," I told him. "You admit that it is right that we should translate it plural do you not?" He slowly nodded. I continued, "One more question - What is the meaning of Echad?"
"One," he promptly replied.
"My teachers have told me that it is a word which means Unity!" I replied.
"Well you were taught wrong," he retorted quite hotly.
"My friend, here in the first part Genesis we are told that there was evening and morning making one day. There was darkness and light, two different and opposite things. Put them together and they make one. A little farther on we are told that a man was to leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife and the two were to become one flesh. When the two are married they become one. That is Echad. God speaks similarly about Himself. The Shema really says, "THE LORD, OUR GODS IS ONE LORD" - Echad - a unity."

I then took him to various passages of the Old Testament and concluded with the words, "The Scriptures teach that there is a Godhead of more than one, and that the second person of the Godhead came to earth to dwell among us and gave his life for us all."
His face was a study. He said, "I am old now, if I had only met you many years ago, how different my life would have been." He then said, "I certainly would have changed my religion."

I urged him to change then and there. This was bringing home the truth to a Jew in a language that he understood clearly.

 

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