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“If you love… you will hate” Or “Why do married couples fight so much?”

SIH STSTA ICON(Valentine’s Day devotional 2015)

 

 

 

“Fighting is good for your marriage, it helps to get everything out of your system”…
“Fighting in a marriage is a sign of a very strong, healthy, and passionate love for one another”…
“All couples fight… if they tell you otherwise, they are lying”…
“We fight a lot because making up is so much fun.”

Huh? ….

All of these statements are made by those who desire to justify anger and fighting in the marriage relationship… but can anger and fighting in a marriage really be justified?

Is fighting in a marriage a good thing?  Is fighting a sign of a true deep passionate love for one another?  Is fighting a “normal” activity in a marriage?  Does a great makeup session justify getting angry at one another?

In this Valentine’s Day devotional, we will be looking at the interrelationship of self-sacrificial love, and anger within the marital union, but first, we will look at how each should manifest itself within the marital union…

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Psa 97:10 KJV – Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

1Co 13:4-7 KJV – Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Jas 4:1-3 KJV – From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 

THE STUDY:

Before we begin our study I would like to include a very important definition.  For today’s devotional “fighting” does not mean “disagreeing”…

Disagreements in marriage are inevitable due to our sinful natures.  None of us perfectly understand God’s Word, therefore none of us perfectly understand His will for our lives.  Because of this, there are times that couples will disagree on the issues of life.  These disagreements should be resolved through self-sacrificial spirits and/or compromise.

By “fighting” we mean to become angry at our spouse, to hit our spouse, to yell at our spouse, to call our spouse names, to say hurtful things to our spouse, to speak ill of our spouse to others, to give our spouse the silent treatment, etc etc etc.

We all understand the difference.  Please keep this in mind as we proceed with our study.

 

How love should manifest itself within the marital union…

1Co 13:4-7 KJV

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Here, we find how love exhibits itself.  Some of the most basic ways that a Godly love is shown to others are in acts of patience, kindness, humility and a self-sacrificial desire for the good of the one that is loved.

No place in this list do we find anger, selfishness, nor fighting on the list; nor is it implied.  As a matter of fact, the root cause for fighting is actually rejected.  Folks, when we love others we will not seek our own but give sacrificially for the good of others.  It will result in us acting kindly, with a spirit willing to give for the other, not being easily provoked nor behaving ourselves in ugly, distasteful ways that will take place during fights.

The Bible is clear, based upon this passage and many others, fighting should have no place among those who love one another. Period.

 

So why do we fight?…

Jas 4:1-3 KJV

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Just as the Bible is clear that fighting has no place in the marital union, so too, it speaks clearly about why fighting takes place.  Here, we are told that the root of all fighting is the selfish lusts that lie within us.  Instead of working through our disagreements in a spirit of love, compromise and self-sacrifice, many times we allow our selfishness to rule over us.  This results in us doing “whatever is necessary” to “win” the argument, “the gloves come off” and the “games begin”!    All because we want to selfishly get our way and, in effect, force our spouse to fulfill our desires and submit to our wishes.

 

So what about the title of this devotional “If you love, you will hate”?

This is the key principle that lies behind all that we are looking at in this devotional.  If we love our spouse, we will hate anything that harms or wrongs them.  Please note this verse…

Psa 97:10 KJV

Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:…

Here, we see that if we love the Lord, we are to hate evil… Why?

We hate evil because it harms our Lord, it displeases Him, it hurts Him to see us commit it, it takes away from His glory, He suffered because of it on the cross, it opposes His work etc. etc.

In other words, if we love the Lord, we will not want to see Him abused, mistreated, blasphemed, or opposed in any way.  When we sin, or are accepting of the sin around us, we are doing all this to Him and more.  This is why when we love our Lord we will hate sin and its effects on Him.

This same attitude should hold true in our marital relationship.  If we love our spouse as we should, we would never want to see our spouse hurt, abused, harmed or saddened in any way.  Sadly some, if not all, of these things are normal results of fighting and conflict in our home.

Truly “if you love, you will hate” anything that harms or saddens the one you love.. this includes fighting with them.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

Folks, when we see ourselves fighting with our spouse, it is a clear indication that our love is not what it should be.  Something is wrong.

Sadly, for there to be peace in the family it takes two.  If only one spouse is committed to loving in a Biblical way, the other spouse can take advantage of them, selfishly abuse them, and always get “their way”.  In these cases, the abused, unloved spouse many times will enter into arguments out of desperation, simply wanting the abuse and mistreatment to stop.

The spouse who is not committed to loving as Christ loved His church, clearly carries the greater load of guilt, knowingly disobeying their Lord. They will give an account to God for their lack of love and selfish abuse of their loved one suffering great loss of reward.  Not only are they committing sin by not loving their spouse as they should, but they are also a contributing factor in the sinful actions of their spouse.  Their actions are practically begging their spouse to sinfully rise up against them in desperation and self-defense.  They are laying a stumbling block which causes their spouse to fall. These are serious issues indeed.

If both spouses are committed to loving one another with a Biblical love, it is very easy to live in peace.  Both spouses work for the good of the other and place their spouse’s needs above their own.  When they do this, it makes disagreements in the decision making very easy to reconcile.  When both are committed to this, they will not allow themselves to take advantage and selfishly gain from their spouse’s desire for peace.

Can living in peace really be accomplished ?  Absolutely, I saw this attitude in my parent’s marriage, I lived at home for 20+ years, and I can truly say I cannot remember ever seeing them fight. They did disagree at times, but they always worked it out through unselfish compromise seeking the good of the other and the family as a whole. It is one of the many things that I have learned to appreciate about my parents and the living example they had so graciously set for me.

I can say the same for myself and Eva.  During our 15 years of marriage, we have rarely disagreed, but when we do, we simply put the other first and work things out.  We have never fought.

Eva’s saying is “We have only been given a fixed amount of time to be together here on earth, we don’t have the time to waste fighting”.     All I can say is “AMEN” to that.

 

 

(I know this may seem to be a very unusual, and perhaps inappropriate, subject to be addressed in a Valentine’s Day devotional.  And I admit it may be.   However, I truly believe this is a greatly needed devotional.  For those who are struggling with this issue in their marriage, by faithfully applying the principles of God’s Word that have been presented, our marriages will never be the same.  And this will become the most precious Valentine’s Day that we have ever experienced. )

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “If I Have Not Charity, It Profiteth Me Nothing (2)”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we conclude our introduction to this series, I thought it would be good to look at a basic outline for the remainder of our study. This outline comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul found in the book of 1 Corinthians 13:. In this passage, Paul covers two very important points concerning love:

1. Its importance – vs 3, 8, 13

2. Its characteristics – vs 4-7

 

 

 

Let’s take a few minutes to look at this passage in detail…

 

 

Paul’s Teaching:

 

The Importance Of Love From The Writings Of Paul…

 

Vs 3 – “And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Vs 8 – “Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away

 Vs 13 – “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity

We looked at these verses in our previous devotional.

 

 

The Characteristics Of Love From The Writings Of Paul…

 

Vs 4 to 7 – “Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 

Please notice in our text that Paul is describing how a Scriptural love is exhibited in our lives. We should never misunderstand Paul’s point. He is not saying that THESE ACTIONS CREATE LOVE in our lives. It is just the opposite. Paul is clearly saying that it is BECAUSE LOVE EXISTS in our hearts, it then PRODUCES THESE TRAITS in our lives.

 

A very quick summary of these traits (we will look at them in great detail as we study the displays of love in the life of Christ). :

1. suffereth long – patience

2. is kind; – useful to others

3. envieth not; – do not desire possessions of others

4. vaunteth not itself, – does not brag about self

5. is not puffed up,- to believe we are better than others

6. Doth not behave itself unseemly, – does not shame others in public

7. seeketh not her own, – does not live selfishly

8. is not easily provoked, – does not get agitated, irritated easily

9. thinketh no evil; – does not plan nor desire evil

10. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, – does not find joy in sin of others

11. rejoiceth in the truth; – finds joy in the truths of God’s Word

12. Beareth all things, – willing to put up with things in silence

13. believeth all things, – exercises faith and trust in others

14. hopeth all things, – thinks best of others, sees best in others

15. endureth all things. – willing to bear any burden for extended time period

 

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

We can see clearly from this listing that Scriptural love manifests itself in sacrifice of self for the good of others. Stop and think about it. Every one of these characteristics involves suffering some type of loss so that others may benefit. This is the exact point that is brought out by the Apostle John as he looked back at the love Christ showed to us and the need to show that same love to others….

Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.(1 John 3:16-18)

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “If I Have Not Charity, It Profiteth Me Nothing (1)”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we conclude our introduction to this series, I thought it would be good to look at a basic outline for the remainder of our study. This outline comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul found in the book of 1 Corinthians 13:. In this passage, Paul covers two very important points concerning love:

1. Its importance – vs 3, 8, 13

2. Its characteristics – vs 4-7

 

 

Let’s take a few minutes to look at this passage in detail…

 

Paul’s Teaching:

 

The Importance Of Love From The Writings Of Paul…

 

Vs 3 – “And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Here, Paul is helping us to understand that the motive of love is ABSOLUTELY necessary for us to please the Lord in an act of service we may undertake.

If we would give sacrificially to meet the needs of the poor, or be willing to die for the cause of Christ, if these are not motivated by love for the Lord and others, they are of no benefit to us.

 

Vs 8 – “Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away

In this text, Paul is reminding us that love is the only gracious gift of God that will last for an eternity:

The gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge have come to an end with the completion of the accrediting of the New Testament scriptures and the local assembly as the New Testament place of worship.

But the gift of love (charity) will last forever.

 

Vs 13 – “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity

Likewise, the gifts of faith and hope will come to an end at the second coming of Jesus.

Love will last for an eternity because, even in eternity, we will continue to love our Lord and our spritual family.

 

 

The Characteristics Of Love From The Writings Of Paul…

 

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 

We will look at these in our next devotional.

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

The Apostle Paul understood the great importance of love in our service to God and for the cause of Christ in this world. As we study love, we should always keep in mind that love is the GREATEST of all the fruits of the Spirit, it is the eternal motivating force that resulted in our salvation, our service to Christ and His never-ending glory.

 

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Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 2)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In1 Cor 13:8
Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

Lesson:

The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span:

Our texts for this lesson are:

Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, andthere is nothing too hard for thee: (Jer 32:17)

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. (Job 42:2)

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you…And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; … And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. … And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. (Exo 3:14, 4:1-8)

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Heb 2:4)

To begin our look at the Scriptures, I would like us to quickly summarize the above passages in the context of our subject “Can the miracles of the Bible be believed?” Basically, we can draw from the verses above the following truths:

1. Our God is able to do all things…. This includes giving His followers the ability to perform miracles, as a sign of their ministries authenticity (1 Corinthians 12:8-11). If it is His will…. He can do these things! (Jeremiah 32:17, Job 42:2, Hebrews 2:4)

2. Both in the Old and the New Testaments, God’s motive for bestowing this miracle working power upon His followers was to accredit their message and the place of worship He had established. This is why these types of miracles are called “sign gifts” or “accrediting gifts” from God (Exodus 3:14, 4:1-8).

Over the years, studying the sign gifts of the Bible, I have noticed something very interesting. It seems as if these sign miracles of God were basically performed in three “groups” throughout Biblical history. Please notice the following basic, generalized table to help explain my point:

Miracle Workers Moses, Joshua Elijah, Elisha Christ, Apostles
Message Accredited Law Prophets New Testament
Worship Place Accredited Tabernacle Temple Church
Time Span*Dates Are Based Upon Martin Anstey’s Chronology 1530 BC – 1460 BC 835 BC – 765 BC 30 AD – 100 AD

It has been so interesting for me to come to an understanding of the Lord’s motives in these sign miracles that were performed. Note that the Lord, through divine miracles, accredited the messenger, as well as the section of Scripture written, and the worship place used at that time. In each case, the “sign miracles” were in existance for approximately 70 years. In each case, a “silent time” existed after each group of miracles, where no sign miracles and few, if any, other miracles were performed. Why? Once God established the validity of each of the above segments, there was no need for miracles until another segment was about to take place.

For example, following the accreditation of the tabernacle and the message of the law, there was no reason to accredit anything, or anyone, until the temple and the prophets came on the scene. Likewise, there was an extended period of “miracle silence” after the completion of the Old Testament. It was only when Christ came on the scene that we have a period of sign miracles taking place to validate the message of the New Testament and the church as the new place of worship for God’s people.

We have seen the end of the last period of miracles being described in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10…

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. “(1Corinthians 13:8-10)

This verse is teaching us that the miraculous gifts of prophecies, tongues, and knowledge, shall come to an end. At the time of Paul’s writing this letter, the NT was not yet completed. This is why he makes the statement that “we know in part and we prophesy in part”. However, when the New Testament reached completion, bringing about the completed Bible (that which is perfect) then the revelation of His Word, bit by bit, (that which is in part) would be finished and no longer needed. The completion of the Word acted upon the sign gifts of prophecies and knowledge, immediately bringing them to an end. (Note:The sign gift of tongues died out as that generation of gifted men died and went home to their Lord, shortly thereafter.)

Also remember, prior to the Word’s completion, the church had already been established in Jerusalem as the worship place of the True God, through the sign miracles of tongues and healings etc.

This fits perfectly with the other times of accreditation that the Lord used. It was 70 years long followed by a period of silence. Since the completion of the Word and the accreditation of the local church (30 AD-100 AD), we find that there existed another time of “miracle silence” that continues on today.

Accepting the fact that the New Testament and the local assembly are established by God is now simply an issue of faith in His Word. In our day, we need no sign miracles to accredit anything… we have the Word that has recorded these previous accreditations for us to rely on today. In the last days, the working of counterfeit miracles will be on the increase, empowered by Satan, performed to mislead even God’s elect (if it were possible). (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Matthew 12:38-39)

Does the Lord still perform miracles? Absolutely everyday, spiritual and physical healing is common place in today’s time.

Does the Lord still give men the ability to perform the “sign gifts” listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11? Absolutely not. He used the sign gifts to accredit the ministries He had ordained. There is no longer a need for these gifts to be exercised by men. We have a written record in His Word of the accreditation of these ministries.

In our next study, we will be examining the times of the Apostles’ deaths and how that affects the ending of the accrediting gifts of the Spirit.

Additional Information (Verses Referred To In This Study):

The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span:

Exo 3:14

(14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Exo 4:1-8

(1) And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.

(2) And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

(3) And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

(4) And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

(5) That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

(6) And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

(7) And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

(8) And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

Job 42:2

(2) I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Jer 32:17

(17) Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

Mat 12:38-39

(38) Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

(39) But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

1Co 12:8-11

(8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

(9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

(10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

(11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

2Co 11:13-15

(13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

(14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

(15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2Th 2:7-10

(7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

(8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

(9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

(10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Heb 2:4

(4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

 

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In

1 Cor 13:8

Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

 

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

 

 

 

Lesson:


The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

Our text for this lesson is found in 1 Corinthians 13:.

1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2) And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4) Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8) Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 

Here is a short outline of the entire chapter…
1)    The Definition and Indicators Of Biblical Love  vs 1-7
2)    Partial Versus Complete Knowledge   vs 8-10
3)    Illustrations of Partiality versus Completeness   vs 11-12
4)    Superiority Of Biblical Love vs 13

 

 

 

For this part of our study, we will be looking at verses 8-13….

 

8) Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Here, Paul makes it very plain that love is the only gift of the four divine gifts (love, prophecy, tongues, knowledge) that will exist eternally.   In our previous studies, we explained that knowledge prophecy and tongues were related to the divine inspiration and accreditation of Scripture (along with the accreditation of the local church).

 

(Please note it is crucial to understand the meaning of the phrases “shall fail”, “shall cease”, and “shall vanish away”)…

  1. “shall cease”
  2. is the Greek word – “pauo” – it means “to stop”, “to be made complete” and “to end”.
  3. is in the middle voice, meaning the subject of the verb is acting upon itself.  In other words, tongues would “stop by themselves” or “would be ended in and of themselves”
  4. “shall fail” and “shall vanish away”
  5. Both of these phrases are the same Greek word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
  6. Both of these are in the passive voice meaning the subject of the verb receives the action.  In other words, our verse is saying that “the perfect thing” (vs 10) will cause both knowledge and prophecy to “no longer be exercised”, or “to vanish away”

 

9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Out of the four previously mentioned gifts from God… knowledge and prophecy are set apart by being described as “in part”.  What does “in part” mean?  This phrase is referring to the nature of divinely inspired revelation to man.  Keep in mind, as God handed down His word to mankind, he did it over many years and many different men.  He gave it a part at time, not all at once.   (Isa 28:9-13)

 

The gifts of prophecy and knowledge were “in part” which teaches us that… as each prophecy came from God (as each bit of knowledge came to man) they were “one part” of the whole of divine revelation to man.  Until the final revelation from God was received by John on the Isle of Patmos (the book of Revelation), both knowledge and prophecy received by man was only a piece of His Word.  At the end of the message given to John on Patmos, the word was finally completed.  It was only then that mankind had the prophecy and knowledge God had chosen to give to man was made complete.

 

Love exists eternally, knowledge, prophesying and the gift of tongues will definitely come to an end, making love a much more valuable gift from God.

 

 

10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Paul describes what causes prophecy and knowledge to vanish away.  He describes it as “that which is perfect.  To help us understand what Paul is referring to, we need to recognize a few important points in our study…
a)    Remember, in the previous verse of our study we saw that the gifts that were “in part” were the gifts of prophecy and knowledge.
b)    Also, we saw that the ending of these gifts were described by the Greek word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
c)     Thirdly, we learned that based on the Greek passive voice, something must act upon the knowledge and prophecy “to render it useless” or “to cause it to vanish away.”

 

What has acted on the gift of prophecy and knowledge rendering them worthless and causing them to vanish away?

It is the completed revelation from God… Once God had given to man all of His Word, there was no need for prophecy or knowledge gifts any longer… they were now useless, ineffective and worthless because the Lord was not going to add to the Word He had given to men. In other words, divine inspiration ceased and with it, the gifts linked directly to it…. prophecy and knowledge.

a)    Remember, the Lord has made it plain that the Word He has given to us is now complete. We will be receiving no additional inspired truth from Him.  (Rev 22:18, Heb 1:1-2)
b)    We know it is His Word that is “perfect” based on the Greek word for “perfect”… The word for perfect is “telios” – which means “complete”, “finished”, “brought to completion”.  “Telios” refers to the Word of God in James 1:25.  Contextually, based on the subject matter of prophecy and knowledge and the inspiration of the Word, it makes sense that the Word is what is being described as “perfect”…

 

Please note: Not once in Scripture does the word telios refer to sinlessness. Here is every use of the word “telion” in the Bible. Every time it is used it is linked to the completed Word and Spiritual Maturity.  

  1. The Word Of God
    1. James 1:25 – telion speaks of Bible perfect replacing imperfect.
  2. Spiritual Maturity Brought About Through The Word
    1. Eph 4:11-13 – telion speaks of mature man based upon receipt of knowledge resulting in unity
    2. Hebrews 9:11 – telion is speaking of new tabernacle compared to old. Completed NT revelation revealing Christ as completed Messiah prophecy
    3. Hebrews 8:13 – when the NT was complete the OT was thrown down and perfect (Word revealing Christ) has replaced imperfect
    4. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebs 5:12-6:5 – Bible brings men to maturity
  3. Marks Of Spiritual Maturity
    1. Love – matt 5:44-48, Luke 6:36
    2. Dedication to lord – matt 19:21
    3. Spiritual discernment – 1 cor 2:6,14, hebs 5:14
    4. Attitudes – 1 cor 14:20
    5. Truth of gospel salvation, perfect not sinless – phil 3:15
    6. Unity w lord – col 1:28
    7. Faithful to lord – col 4:12
    8. Patience – James 1:4
    9. The gifts of the Lord – James 1:17
    10. Faith/works – James 2:22

(Please note that in Matthew 5:44-48 – “telion” does refer to the Lord. However, in the context, it is not speaking of the Lord’s sinlessness, it is speaking of the spiritual maturity that He displays as He shows unconditional love to those who are around Him. No place in Scripture does the word “telios” mean sinlessly perfect.)

 

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that the term “perfect” does not refer to the completed Word of God. Instead, let’s assume that “perfect” in our text refers to the Lord at His second coming or the eternal sinless state. We have already seen that this “perfect thing” that is coming must act on the gifts of prophecy and knowledge rendering them useless.

If this is so then…
a)    We have to say that the Lord is continually revealing His inspired word to man throughout the ages. In other words, His word is not in completed form, but He is continually adding to His revealed Word to man. This revealing of the Word will only stop at His second coming.
b)    If this is so, we should be continually adding to the Scriptures.  Every new revelation God gives to man should be added to the Scriptures.  This principle does away with the warning given throughout God’s Word to not add to the Scriptures (Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6).
c)    And also the fullness and completeness of God’s Word for us to use is done away with.  Therefore, we cannot count on His Word being the complete set of instructions for us to live by. (2 Tim 3:16-17)  In this hypothetical scenario, we may face situations that the Word cannot equip us to face.  What happens if the part of the Word we need now, will not be revealed to man for another 25 years?  Our entire view of the Scriptures must change if this is the case.

However, the Bible clearly tells us otherwise…
a)    The Word of God has been given to us resulting in us being given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3)
b)    We are told that it is through the Word that we can know fully (Ephesians 3:3-5, Romans 16:25-27). These imply we have no need of other revelation than found in His Word.
c)     In Jude 1:3 we read that the truth was “once” delivered unto the saints. The term “once” is translated from a Greek word that means “once and for all”. In other words, the truth of God was revealed to us through His Word, and at its completion, no other revelation would be needed or given. This is exactly the point of our 1 Corinthians 13 passage.
d)    Also in Ephesians 2:20, we find that the teachings of the Christ, the Apostles, and the Prophets make up the foundation of the Lord’s local churches. This clearly implies the Scriptures would be completed during the founding years of the local assemblies. How can His churches be founded upon something which would not be completed for many years to come? It would be impossible. The very illustration of a foundation teaches us that the Word (just like the foundation) must be completed before the local assembly can be established (like the house that will be framed, roofed and then brought to completion FOLLOWING the completion of its foundation).  A foundation is never completed during or after the completion of the house which stands upon it.

The Word of God is clear that it is a completed document that can be relied upon to meet our every need. Again, keeping all of this in mind helps us to understand that the Word is complete and then it follows that the gifts related to the inspiration of His Word are no longer necessary.

 

11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 

Paul now uses the example of the maturing of the process of understanding is used to picture the process of God’s revealed Word being brought to completion.  Just as Paul’s growth allowed him to come to a more mature and full understanding of life, so too, as God’s Word is brought to completion, it brings to us a fuller understanding of our Lord and our responsibilities as servants.

Based on the Word being brought to completion during the age of the Corinthian church. It was time for them to “grow up” and become mature as well. It would only be at that time that they could use the wonderful blessing of His completed Word to help them to correct the many errors in their assembly.

 

12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Paul now compares our knowledge of God in our sinful flesh with mankind’s knowledge of God with only a portion of His Word given to them.  In both cases, an incomplete view of God is had by man.

  1. Paul describes a time when God cannot be seen clearly
  2. Paul describes our life in our sinful flesh as seeing our Lord “through a glass darkly”.
  3. Paul then compares this to mankind trying to see a full picture of Christ with only a portion of God’s Word given to man. “now I know in part”.
  4. Paul next describes when we can receive a fuller knowledge of Christ
  5. When we go home to be with the Lord in heaven, it is seeing Him “face to face”, this will result in seeing Him much more clearly than while in our sinful flesh.
  6. Paul then compares this to receiving His completed Word which gives us a much more full revelation of the Lord.  “ then shall I know even as also I am known” .

 

In other words, God bringing His Word to completion gives us a much greater knowledge of who He is and what He has done for us. This is being related to man who while in his fallen, fleshly body is greatly limited in knowledge about Him. But when we receive glorified bodies in our eternal state, we will see Him much more clearly.

 

Also, keep in mind, both of these illustrations are illustrations CONCERNING AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWLEDGE INCREASING to a state of completeness. This is another point that cannot be ignored.

 

To say “that which is perfect” is speaking of spiritual maturity, the second coming of Christ, or the eternal state does not jive with these two illustrations when they are taken together. One illustration could be said to be speaking of spiritual maturity (vs 11) and other one could be said to be about His second coming and the future state (vs 12).

 

However, the only principle that is being brought out in both illustrations is the principle of incomplete knowledge and understanding being brought to a finished or completed state. Again pointing us back directly to His Word being brought from a state of being “in part” to a finished state of completion.

 

 

13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 

After telling us about the Word and it’s soon completion, Paul now brings us back to the original thought… love is even greater than our three existing gifts of faith, hope and love.

 

Why didn’t Paul mention prophecy or knowledge as abiding (to continue on for extended period of time, to endure to limit)? We have already seen they would end within a short period of time from the writing of 1 Corinthians when Word was brought to completion (about 20 years).  So he didn’t include these on our list.

 

But why didn’t he include the gift of tongues… when did they cease to exist?  Tongues ceased to exist, around the same time as knowledge and prophecy.  Tongues were one of several “sign gifts” that God gave to mankind. The gift of tongues were handed down through the laying on of the Apostles hands. At the death of the last Apostle, the gift of tongues would no longer be able to be passed down and, therefore, died “in and of themselves” (“they shall cease” – vs 8).

 

Keep in mind, the last Apostle living was the Apostle John. John penned the last book of the Bible (Revelation) in approximately 97 AD and died approximately 100 AD. Following his death tongues could no longer be handed down and went out of existence soon afterward, well within the time frame of this study. We will look at the ending of tongues in great detail in a later portion of this study.

 

Putting all of this together, it is easy to see why only faith, hope and charity are said to “abide” (to stay in place for an extended period of time).  The gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues would go out of existence within a few years after Paul’s ministry would be complete.

 

But not so with faith, hope and love.  They would continue on until the second coming of Christ.  When Christ comes back we will have no need of faith nor hope…. As we begin, our eternity with Him, we will begin the process of receiving all His promises to us.  Faith and hope will no longer be needed, we will be experiencing all He has for us.

 

At that point, faith and hope will no longer be in existence, but only love will continue on to eternity.  Thus making “love” the greatest gift of all that are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:.

  • Gifts are temporary but love is eternal
  • Gifts are elementary but love is mature
  • Gifts are partial but love is complete

 

 

Based upon our study, we have seen that the gifts involving the Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth (Knowledge) and the Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth (Prophecy) came to an end with the completion of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, in approximately 97 AD. We also saw that the gifts involving the Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth (Tongues) came to an end within one generation following the death of John in 100 AD.

 

In our next lesson, we will see that the end of the Accrediting gifts can be understood by examining the 70 year time frame that the Lord uses to accredit His Word and the places of worship He has established.

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:

The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

 

Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

 

Isa 28:9-13 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
(10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
(11) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
(12) To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
(13) But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

 

Mat 5:44-48 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
(46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
(47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
(48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 

Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

 

Rom 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
(26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
(27) To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.

 

1Co 2:6-14 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
(7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
(8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
(9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
(12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
(13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

1Co 13:8-13 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
(9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
(10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
(11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
(12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Eph 2:19-20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
(20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

 

Eph 3:3-5 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
(4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
(5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

 

Eph 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

 

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

 

2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

 

Heb 5:12-6:5 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
(13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
(14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
(1) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
(2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
(3) And this will we do, if God permit.
(4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
(5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

 

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

 

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 

Rev 22:18-20 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
(19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
(20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 5)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 

After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.

2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.

3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.

We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

 

Lesson:


Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

We began to take a look at the gift of “diverse kinds of tongues” that are found in the division of accrediting gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH. In particular, we looked at the first time that the gift of tongues was exercised on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-24…

1. The gift was given to the local church at Jerusalem, not to believers in general (vs 1)

2. The gift was given following the local assembly being baptized IN the Spirit (not BY the Spirit) (vs 2)

3. The gift was given following the Spirit filling the church members (vs 4)

4. The gift had a visible manifestation: tongues of fire sitting on their heads (vs 3);

5. The gift had an audible manifestation: speaking in other human languages that were unknown to the speakers but known to the hearers (vs 4-11)

6. The Word of God was used to clearly explain what had taken place amid the confusion (vs 12-21)

7. The message proclaimed through the gift of tongues was proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. (vs 11-24)

Following this event, when the Bible speaks of the gift of tongues, it simply mentions the gift without a lengthy description of what we have just learned. This principle can be used with many different teachings of the Bible. This principle of Biblical interpretation is described as “The Law Of First Mention”. This principle states that “the very first time a word, doctrine or other teaching is mentioned in the Bible, usually, the Scriptures gives that word, doctrine or teaching its most complete description and meaning.” This is the case with the gift of tongues. This first reference to it has given us the detailed description of the gift which is to be applied throughout all of the other Biblical mentions of the gift.

 

 

The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Instructions On The Biblical Exercise Of The Gift Of Tongues

The Apostle Paul gives us clear instructions on the Biblical exercise of the gift of tongues in the book of 1 Corinthians. In particular, Paul mentions the gift of tongues in chapters 12-14.

 

1 Corinthians 12:

In chapter 12, they are mentioned in three verses 10, 28 and 30…

 

(1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

In this section of Scripture we can learn a bit about the nature of the tongues gift. Note in verse 11, it is said to be worked among men by the Holy Spirit. It is this same Spirit who sovereignly distributes these spiritual gifts to believers as He sees fit.

This scripture gives birth to the question “If the Spirit distributes the various spiritual gifts among men, what determines which gifts are given to which men?”. That question is answered for us in the later verses of this same chapter…

 

(1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29) [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?

30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Here we read that we are to desire to EXERCISE, not obtain, the best gift for use in an assembly. In verses 27-31, we read that the gifts of the Spirit (including diversities of tongues) are distributed among men based upon the ministry to which the gifted individual is called. In other words, whatever gift is needed by the Christian to faithfully fulfill the ministry to which he is called, that is the gift that is distributed to him. The Christian needs no other gifts to live an obedient life than that which the Spirit sovereignly distributes to him.

Also notice in verse 31, based upon the set of gifts the Christian possesses, he is to desire to exercise the best gift that is needed by the church in any given situation. The practical application of that teaching is two-fold:

1. The gifted Christian is to select the proper gift to use to fulfill a church’s need… for example, if the church needed a message to be spoken using the gift of tongues, the speaker should desire to exercise the gift of tongues, not the gift of prophecy.

2. The Christian is to only select ministries for which he has been gifted…. for example, if the same church needed the gift of prophecy to be exercised, only those Christians who possessed that specific gift should intervene and take responsibility to fulfill that ministry. Anyone without the gift of prophecy should not attempt to fulfill that specific need of the church.

These two principles are what is meant by the phrase “covet earnestly the best gifts” (ie sincerely desire to EXERCISE the best gift to meet the need of the church at that time.) This phrase has nothing to do with desiring to OBTAIN a specific spiritual gift.

 

Notice the final phrase of vs 31… and yet I will shew you a more excellent way”. What is Paul speaking of? We find the answer to this question in chapter 13…

 

1 Corinthians 13:

In 1 Corinthians 13, we find the gift of tongues mentioned in two verses, 1 and 8.

 

(1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13)

1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2) And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing

13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

We find that the “more excellent way” to exercise the spiritual gifts is to exercise them out of a heart of love. The spiritual gifts were never given for personal gain. They were not given for the gifted individual to receive praise, honor, or money. They were given to be sacrificially used to help others motivated by love and mercy.

In the church at Corinth, we find that the members were submitting to the temptation exercise these gifts based upon selfish desires and motives. Paul is clearly explaining that no personal gain should be desired, or requested, concerning the exercise of the spiritual gifts (including the speaking of tongues). This is the more excellent way to exercise the gracious gifts given to men by the Spirit.

Please note the phrase “the tongues of men and of angels” found in verse 1. This phrase describes two very important aspects to the gift of tongues…

1. “The tongues of men” obviously describes the human languages that existed in Paul’s day. This emphasizes for us the type of language the gift of tongues uses…it is always a HUMAN LANGUAGE.

2. “The tongues of angels” is describing the same set of languages. Keep in mind, EVERYTIME we find angels speaking in the Bible they are delivering a message to man in the human language spoken by the hearers. There is no exception to this. NO PLACE in the Bible are we told, by teaching or example, that angels speak a language reserved for the inhabitants of heaven. This emphasizes for us the goal of the gift of tongues… IT IS DELIVERING A MESSAGE TO MEN USING THE HUMAN LANGUAGE THE HEARERS UNDERSTAND.

Therefore, another way to phrase the beginning of verse 1 is simply … “Though I speak with the tongues shared by men and angels,”, by which he is speaking of human languages.

Also in 1 Corinthians 13: we find tongues mentioned in verse 8. In this section of Scripture (vs 8-12) we find teaching concerning the ceasing of the spiritual gifts. We will reserve our comments on this text, and others, for the upcoming section of our study on the ceasing of spiritual gifts.

 

1 Corinthians 14:

In 1 Corinthians 14:1-40, we find the majority of Paul’s teaching about the Scriptural exercise of the gifts of tongues. But before we take a look at those instructions, it is important we understand some of the misuses of the gift of tongues by the Corinthian church:

1. vs 2- when the church met, they all spoke the same language. There was no need for the exercise of tongues and, yet, they did exercise the gift.

2. vs 2, 4, 13,14,19,27 – the term “unknown” is not in the Greek language, this is why the KJV puts brackets around and italicizes the word unknown. What the KJV translators were trying to express is that, when a foreign language was spoken (as the gift of tongues was exercised) the human languages being spoken were unknown to the hearers, because of the gift’s misuse.

3. vs 4 – Again, we see the gift of tongues was being used in an Unscriptural way because the members of the church were not being edified by the gift.

4. vs 12 – The gift of tongues was being used in a ridiculous way, which was motivated by a misdirected zealousness to exercise the gifts although they were not needed nor helpful to the assembly.

5. vs 1-12 – Teach us that prophecy was the correct gift to use in this situation, not tongues. Why was prophecy the “gift of choice”? because through it, the church could be edified. They were not gaining anything from the misuse of the gift of tongues. As the tongues speaker spoke in a human language unknown to the hearers, it sounded to them as babbling which they could not understand.

This was the situation Paul was addressing in this letter to Corinth. The above abuses of the gift of tongues helps us to understand more about the instructions he gave to the church in chapters 12: and 13:.   It also helps us to clarify what he has written in this chapter. Now let’s turn our attention to this chapter to learn more about the appropriate use of the gift of tongues…

 

(1 Corinthians 14:1-40)

1) Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.

2) For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

3) But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4) He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5) I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

Why were they desire to exercise the gift of prophecy over that of tongues? In this instance, since the church at Corinth all spoke the same language, the gift of prophecy would result in the edification of the church.

If the gift of tongues were to be exercised only the speaker would profit from the experience. The only possible remedy for this situation would be if the unknown human language would be interpreted into the language that was spoken by the church at Corinth.

 

6) Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

7) And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

8) For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

9) So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

10) There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them [is] without signification.

11) Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh [shall be] a barbarian unto me.

12) Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

In this situation, since the church at Corinth all understood the same language, there is no reason for the gift of tongues to be exercised. As a matter of fact, the use of the gift of tongues would be of no value whatsoever to the assembly.

If tongues were exercised, you would have a speaker stand up and speak in a human language that would be unknown to the assembly. Therefore, speaking in tongues would be like sounds and babblings holding no meaning to the assembly. It would be as if the speaker is simply speaking “into the air” without any hearers that could understand.

 

13) Wherefore let him that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue pray that he may interpret.

14) For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

15) What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

16) Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

17) For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18) I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19) Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that [by my voice] I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an [unknown] tongue.

20) Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Based upon the above teachings (vs 1-12), if the gift of tongues is used in the church at Corinth, the only solution would be for someone to interpret the unknown human language into a human language known by the assembly.

Paul continues to expound absolute necessity for everything to be done in an assembly for its edification… When we sing or pray, it should be in a human language known by the church and any lost individuals who may be are present, so all can be edified by our acts of worship.

Paul concludes this section by telling the church to “grow up”. Stop using the spiritual gifts to bring honor and glory to themselves, but instead, to use them for the building up of the assembly and the salvation of the lost in their midst. They were to come to a level of spiritual understanding and maturity, where they use the spiritual gifts to benefit others and to never exercise them for selfish purposes.

 

21) In the law it is written, With [men of] other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

Paul refers to Isaiah 28:11-12. In the context of this OT passage, the Lord was describing the use of foreign nations to enter into Israel as an act of chastening. The Lord’s desire was for Israel to repent and come back to Him as a result of this invasion. In that sense, He would use this broken, unknown human language of the invaders to bring about the spiritual renewal of Israel.

The Lord desires for the gifts of the Spirit to be used properly for the benefit of others, by using them to present the truths of God to them in an understandable fashion. Just as the Lord used the broken unknown speech of the invaders to show Israel their need of repentance and renewal, so too, He wanted to use the gift to tongues to show the lost their spiritual needs.

Although the Lord uses the proper use of the gifts to share His Word with the lost, there is no guarantee His Word will always land upon hearing ears and result in spiritual benefit to the hearer. Just as the Lord’s efforts using the invading forces entering Israel “fell on deaf ears” and did not produce the desired response of repentance.

The gifted saint was never held responsible for the RESULTS OF THE EXERCISE OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS, they are only held responsible for the SELFLESS EXERCISE OF THOSE GIFTS MOTIVATED OUT OF A HEART OF LOVE.

 

22) Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying [serveth] not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

23) If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

Paul also reminds the church that the main purpose of tongues was a sign to unbelievers that the local assembly and the message of the local assembly are sanctioned by the Lord. And to share the truths of the Word to the lost in a language they understood.

It is the secondary purpose of tongues to be used for the edification of the saved.

The use of tongues within an assembly that all speaks one language, when no interpreter is present, is actually harmful to the cause of Christ. When the unbelievers hear the human languages spoken that are unknown to all those present, they will think that the church is insane. Why speak in a human language that is unknown to everyone when no benefit can be received from it?

 

24) But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

25) And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on [his] face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Instead of the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy was to be exercised in the church at Corinth. Why? By proclaiming God’s Word in a human language that is understandable to the hearers, great benefit can be had by both the membership of the church and the lost who are visiting in their midst:

1. The saved could be built up through the instruction of the Word.

2. The lost could hear the truth of the Word, be convicted by the Spirit, come to a place of repentance and faith resulting in their salvation.

 

26) How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

27) If any man speak in an [unknown] tongue, [let it be] by two, or at the most [by] three, and [that] by course; and let one interpret.

28) But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

The main point in all of this chapter is that all gifts are to be exercised so that the assembly may benefit from them:

1. If the gift of tongues is exercised at Corinth, they should always have an interpreter present to clearly reveal the teachings that God has given to them. Before the Word was completed these truths of God could come to them via songs, teachings from the Word, or divine uncovering of the truth (through visions, dreams and such like).

2. To achieve maximum benefit from the Word of God, the tongues are to be exercised in an orderly fashion with the tongues followed by the interpretation.

3. Also, it is to be limited to up to three individuals who would take turns to speak in tongues.

4. If no interpreter was present, then no tongues were to be spoken.

(all of this was to avoid confusion)

 

29) Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

30) If [any thing] be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

31) For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

32) And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

33) For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

This orderly type of presentation of God’s Word extended to those exercising the gift of prophecy as well:

1. Once again, the number exercising the gift is to be at the most three.

2. They are to take turns in revealing the prophecy they had received and then judging the validity of the message of the other speakers.

3. They are to take turns in speaking and then confirming the prophecy. Never speaking over themselves.

 

This was all to be done to make the presentation of the truths as clear as possible leading to both the teaching and the comforting of God’s people.

 

34) Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

35) And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Another way the truth was to be presented clearly was in the fulfillment of the proper gender-specific roles within the church worship. Paul addressed the need for women to refrain from teaching the mixed assembly. This would be done to respect the levels of authority and responsibility that has been placed upon the man to lead the assembly, as the men will be held accountable for the teachings within the assembly.

 

36) What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

37) If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

38) But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

To conclude these teachings, Paul now challenges those who are spiritual and gifted members of the assembly to acknowledge that his teachings are from God, and therefore to be followed explicitly.

If any man is ignorant concerning these things, recognize he is not spiritual, nor gifted and allow him to continue on as is. Do not push him to take upon himself a ministry he is not prepared nor taught to fulfill.

 

39) Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

40) Let all things be done decently and in order.

Verse 39 must be kept in context of the rest of the Scripture. The brethren of the church at Corinth were to desire to exercise the gift of prophecy in the church, not the gift of tongues, why? This is because the gift of prophecy would be of the greatest benefit to the assembly. However, they were to not forbid the speaking of tongues in this church (as long as an interpreter was present – 14:28). Why? It is because a secondary purpose of tongues was for the edification of the assembly. This could be accomplished when an interpreter would reveal the teachings that were presented in the unknown human language through the use of a language that was understood by all.

 

The summary of all of this is very simple:

1. ALL SPIRTUAL GIFTS WERE TO BE USED FOR THE EDIFICATION OF THE LOCAL ASSEMBLY, NEVER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GIFTED INDIVDUAL.

2. THE GIFTS WERE TO ALWAYS BE EXERCISED FOLLOWING THE LORD’S DIRECTION. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THAT THEY BROUGHT HONOR AND GLORY TO THE LORD.

 

In our next lesson, we will answer the question when will these sign gifts come to an end.

 

 

Additional Information:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

Act 2:1-24

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

 

The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Instructions On The Biblical Exercise Of The Gift Of Tongues

(1 Corinthians 13:8-12)

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This [is] the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing: yet they would not hear.(Isaiah 28:11-12)

 

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”  (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.
2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.
3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.

We will be studying the differing types of spiritual gifts today we will be studying the “Sign Gifts” the Lord has given us.

 

 

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures

Accrediting gifts, another type of spiritual gift given through God’s grace to mankind, is also commonly called sign gifts.  Lists of these gifts are found in the following verses…

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”   (1 Corinthians 12:28-31)

In 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, we find a sampling (incomplete list) of accrediting gifts given along with samples of other types of spiritual gifts (gifted men and ministering gifts).

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;

to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, we find a complete listing of the accrediting gifts.  Because we find the complete list in this passage, we will concentrate our study on this text.

To properly understand this text, we have to take notice of the words “another”.  They are translated by two differing Greek words.  The understanding of these Greek words is of utmost importance to our study.

Please notice these two Greek words:

1. “allos” – this word means “another of the SAME kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a dog and “Rin Tin Tin” is another.  In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “allos”, it would be tqeaching us that Rin Tin Tin is the same type of animal as Lassie.  Both are dogs.

2. “heteros” – this word means “another of a DIFFERENT kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a collie and “Rin Tin Tin” is another.  In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “heteros”, it would be teaching us that  Rin Tin Tin is a different breed of dog than Lassie (RTT was not a collie).

Although both our example sentences use the word “another”, we can see that “another” can hold two differing meanings.  This is what happens in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.  If we understand this principle, we can see that our text clearly places the accrediting gifts into  different divisions. Please notice our text…

Vs 8

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

This “another” is translated from the word “allos”This teaches us that the gifts of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” are gifts of the SAME type.

These are the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.

 

Vs 9 – 10a  

To another faith by the same Spirit;

This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”.  This teaches us that the gift of faith is a different type of gift than the previous gifts mentioned.   

to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;

These “anothers” are all translated from the word “allos”.  This teaches us that gifts of: gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits are all the same type of gift as the gift of faith.

These are all gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH.

 

Vs 10b

to another [divers] kinds of tongues;  

This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”.  This teaches us that another new division of gifts is beginning.  In other words, this teaches us that “diverse kinds of tongues” is a different type of gift than the those we just listed under the supernatural signs of the truth.

to another the interpretation of tongues:

This “another” is translated from the word “allos”.  This teaches us that the interpretation of tongues is the same type of gift as the interpretation of tongues.  Both of these gifts form our third division among the accrediting gifts.

These gifts involve the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.  

 

Vs 11 – “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   

All of these Accrediting Gifts are given graciously by God through the person of the Spirit.  They are distributed among men based upon the sovereign will of the Lord.

Now let’s take a look at each of these gifts in detail…

 Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth

1.  “The Word of Wisdom” –  This involves uttering wisdom (practical truths for living) through the inspiration of the Lord.  It is a first- time revealing of God’s wisdom to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16)

2.  “The Word of Knowledge” –  This involves uttering knowledge (doctrinal truths) through the inspiration of the Lord.  It is a first-time revealing of the truths about Himself to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible.  (2 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:18)

Please note:  Both of these gifts came to an end at the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth

1.  “Faith” –  This is a supernatural faith that far exceeds the fruit of faith mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24. This supernatural faith results in many different types of miracles being performed.

Some mentions of this faith include:
a.  Moving mountains – Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23, 1 Corinthians 13:2
b.  Lack of this gift hindered work of God – Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5-6
c.  Heavens shut up for 3 ½ years, Lepers healed – Luke 4:25-29
d.  Uprooting sycamore tree – Luke 17:6

Again, it is important that this “gift” is not confused with the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit which bestowed at the point of salvation and then is exercised in every Christian’s life.

2.  “Gifts Of Healing” –  This is not the “gift of healing” but it is the “gift of the gifts of healing”.  The name of this gift is translated from the Greek language.  Literally it is translated “to freely bestow a cure” or “to graciously deliver from an infirmity” or “gracious healings”.  This clearly points out the gracious nature of the healing.  It is not a matter of those being healed are more faithful or more spiritual persons than those who are not healed.  This is the ability to heal a person who is entirely underserving of that healing.

3.  “Working Of Miracles” –  The gift of “the working of miracles” allows acts of power to accomplish desired, yet naturally impossible results.

4.  “Prophecy” –  Literally, this gift is described as the ability “to reveal the mind of God”.  When used in the context of the Accrediting Gifts, this gift involves the forth-telling of a future event.  This was used as a proof that the speaker was speaking the truth.   This is why the Lord has included this gift in the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH division and not the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH division. (2 Kings 10:9-11)

5.  “Discerning Of Spirits” – This involves the ability to PERFECTLY make judgment of the aim, content, and deliverer of a message. Put another way, this gift allowed men to discern the authenticity, reliability and intents of a verbal or written message without error. (Acts 5:1-6)

All of the gifts in the Supernatural Indicators of the Truth division came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

In our next study, we will look in detail at the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH: “diverse kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues”.

Additional Information (Verses referred to in this study):

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures  

Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   (2 Timothy 3:15)

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”   (2 Peter 1:3-5)

And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”   (2 Peter 3:15-16)

But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”   (2 Peter 3:18)

 

Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth

And it will be in the morning, and he will go forth and stand and say to all the people, Ye are just: behold, I conspired against my lord, and I will kill him: and who struck all these?  Know now that nothing shall fall from the word of Jehovah to the earth which Jehovah spake concerning the house of Ahab: for Jehovah did what he spake by the hand of his servant Elijah.  And Jehu will strike all those being left to the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great, and all his acquaintance, and his priests, till he left to him nothing escaping.”   (2 Kings 10:9-11)

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”   (Matthew 13:58)

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  (Matthew 17:20)

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”   (Mark 6:5-6)

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”  (Mark 11:23)

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.   (Luke 4:25-29)

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”  (Luke 17:6)

And a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  And separated from the price, his wife also knowing; and having brought a certain part, laid at the feet of the sent.  And Peter said, Ananias, wherefore filled Satan thy heart, for thee to belie the Holy Spirit, and separate from the price of the farm.  Remaining, did it not remain to thee? and sold, it was in thy power: for what hast thou put this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied to men, but to God.  And Ananias hearing these words, having fallen down, he expired: and great fear was upon all them hearing these things.  And the younger having risen up, drew him together, and having carried out, interred.”  (Acts 5:1-6)

And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”   (1 Corinthians 13:2)

 

Cremation Or Burial: What Does The Bible Say? (2)

SIH STSTA ICONThe necessity of the death of our body, and its use to honor and glorify the Lord, is an issue for which we all should be prepared.  This would include the testimony that we display during our actual passing, as well as the funeral service and disposal of our body   After all, our physical bodies are a wonderful gift from the Lord of which we are to use for His glory in every way possible…

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I have said this to simply explain the importance of the issue we will be studying today.  It is the issue of the burial of our body versus the cremation of our body.  Do either of these dishonor our Lord or harm our testimony before Him?

 

THE STUDY:

In my way of thinking, one reason why there is so many questions about cremation versus burial of the body is because there is no “thus saith the Lord”.  To my knowledge the Bible does not clearly address the issue.  It is an issue that will have to be decided based upon a variety of Biblical principles instead of a clear Biblical declaration.

Keeping that in mind, I would like us to look at some Biblical principles that we can prayerfully consider…
1. The Stewardship Principle (see lesson #1)
2. The Example Of Honored Bible Characters
3.  The Symbolism Of Fire And Burial

The Example Of Honored Bible Characters

The most common way the deceased body was cared for throughout the Scriptures is through the act of a burial.  Normally, this “burial” was not underground in today’s time but in tombs, or sepulchers, made from caves covered by a huge rock:  Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah (Gen 49:29-31); Lazarus (Mark 15:45-46); Christ Himself (Mark 15:45-47) to name a few.

However, there is, at least, one cremation of an honored character that took place, and it was for the Lords glory…

And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul;  All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.  And they took their bones, and buried [them] under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.”   (1 Samuel 31:11-13)

In this case, the bodies of Saul and his sons were burned to make certain the Philistines would not be able to reclaim the bodies and, once again, put them on public display, bringing shame to the land of Israel.  This was not done to dishonor Saul and his sons, who were revered by Israel, it was done to retain the honor of Israel and her God, Jehovah.  In this case, the burning of the bodies was done to preserve respect for the Lord, not take away from it.

Another example of a Godly use of cremation is found in Amos…

Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.  The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.  And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.  And a man’s uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that [is] by the sides of the house, [Is there] yet [any] with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD.  For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.”   (Amos 6:7-11)

In this case, we have cremations taking place to stop a communicable plague from spreading throughout the land.

Also, we have to think about all the other honorable servants of the Lord whose body did not receive a proper burial.  In Hebrews 11: we find listed, in general terms, the types of death, and lack of burial many experienced…

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets:  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth.

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.  (Hebrews 11:32-40)

Throughout the ages, the bodies of the people of God have suffered greatly at the hands of their enemies.  Some of the types of death relevant to our study include…. burning at the stake, being sawn asunder, eaten by wild animals, cast into the sea, torn apart on the rack etc etc etc.   All of these examples help us to understand that, in some instances, the lack of a burial actually glorifies God in great ways depending on the situation in which they occur.  Paul understood this principle when he actually offered for his body to be abused for the resultant glory of the Lord….

And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”  (1 Corinthians 13:3)

Of course, Paul is not referring to a cremation here, but a death by fire (aka being burned to death) which has a secondary result of destruction of the body.

Based upon the examples of the honored Bible characters, it seems as if the norm was definitely a proper burial of a prepared body, but it certain instances, cremation or the lack of a proper burial was used by the Lord for His honor and glory.    This must be determined based upon the motive behind the action and the circumstances surrounding it.

The Symbolism Involved

The final area that we need to look at is the area of symbolism… what does burial symbolize, if anything; and what does cremation of the deceased body symbolize, if anything?  To help us understand this we need to see what these two acts are related to in the Bible….

First let’s look at the symbolism of application of fire ….
Many times, the application of fire is symbolic of the falling of God’s judgment.

How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?   (Psalms 89:46)

And [when] the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard [it]; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed [them that were] in the uttermost parts of the camp.  And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.  And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.   (Numbers 11:1-3)

 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:  But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, [and] with the sound of the trumpet:  And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.  (Amos 2:1-3)

In all the above three texts, which is only a sample of the many times fire is used by God to judge those who were rebellious, we can see that the application of fire was related to God’s anger and wrath being poured out upon the sinful.

However in our last text, Amos 2:1-3, it is interesting for us to notice WHY Moab was being punished by God.  It is described as “because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime”.  Was the Lord calling the act of cremation a sin?  If so, this would make our study much simpler.  There are those who say that is exactly what is being said, and therefore, we can know with certainty that the cremation of a body is an act of sinfulness.

However, from my perspective, I do believe this verse is better understood to be describing the horrible cruelty of Moab that was shown by his burning up the bodies of his enemies until the bones turned to small pieces with which he then plastered his palace.  He was a nice guy huh? (Because this information is based on human historians who were not inspired by God, this information cannot be relied upon with absolute certainty.  Therefore I am just sharing this alternate view with you.)

The reason why I do not think it is speaking of all types of cremation is because, we just saw in a previous examples where the act of cremation was not sinful but done as an act to glorify and honor the Lord.  I do not believe the act of cremation is not sinful in and of itself, but the purpose behind the cremation, and the circumstances surrounding it, must be taken into account as well.

From this standpoint, a usage of fire to cremate a body would be a symbolic picture of the body being used to dishonor the Lord, and as a result the body receiving judgment at the hand of the Lord.

Not only is the application of fire is symbolic of the falling of God’s judgment, but at other times, the application of fire was used by the Lord to accept an offering made to Him…

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.  And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: [which] when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.   (Leviticus 9:23-24)

And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought [it] out unto him under the oak, and presented [it].  And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay [them] upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.  Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that [was] in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. And when Gideon perceived that he [was] an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.  And the LORD said unto him, Peace [be] unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.  Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it [is] yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”   (Judges 6:19-24)

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, [even] I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets [are] four hundred and fifty men.

Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay [it] on wood, and put no fire [under]: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay [it] on wood, and put no fire [under]:  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.  And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress [it] first; for ye [are] many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire [under].  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed [it], and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But [there was] no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.  And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he [is] a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, [or] peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.  And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the [time] of the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that [there was] neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD [that was] broken down.  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid [him] on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour [it] on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.  And he said, Do [it] the second time. And they did [it] the second time. And he said, Do [it] the third time. And they did [it] the third time.  And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.  And it came to pass at [the time of] the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou [art] God in Israel, and [that] I [am] thy servant, and [that] I have done all these things at thy word.  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou [art] the LORD God, and [that] thou hast turned their heart back again.  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench.  And when all the people saw [it], they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he [is] the God; the LORD, he [is] the God.  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.   (1 Kings 18:21-40)

In the above texts, and in several others, we can see that many times the Lord declared His acceptance of an offering through the use of fire coming down upon the offerings and consuming them.

Under this basic usage, the cremation of a body could be seen as a body being offered for the Lord’s use (during its lifetime on earth) and that offering being found pleasing in the eyes of the Lord.

Now, let’s begin looking at the symbolism involved with the act of burial of a body…

The act of burial pictures the state of the saints dead body as it awaits the final resurrection.

But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:  And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.  All flesh [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds.  [There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another.  [There is] one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for [one] star differeth from [another] star in glory.  So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.  Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.  As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.  (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

In the above text, we can see that the body of those who are passed away is pictured by a seed that is sown.  The resurrection of that body is pictured by the seed then sprouting and growing with a new type of life.  Therefore it only makes sense that this seed that is “buried” and the sprout that arises with new life is the perfect illustration of dead body that is buried in the ground and the coming resurrection to a new type of life when the body comes forth from the grave.

The act of burial pictures Christ’s burial

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  (Hebrews 2:14)

But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.   For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.  (Philippians 3:20-21)

Christ went before His people setting the perfect example for us to follow in all aspects of His life. The example He has set for us even extends to the burial and resurrection of His body.  Christ’s body was buried in a tomb and then three days later at His resurrection, He exited that tomb proving to all that He was the true God and Redeemer of His people.   The burial of the believer’s body is one way, among many, that we can follow His great example that was set for us.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

To summarize our completed study…

In the first study…
1.  We have come to recognize the importance of using our physical bodies for the glory and honor of God as stewards of these wonderful dwelling places for the Holy Ghost.  This principle even applies to our bodies following our death.
2.  We saw that the burial of the body was following the example set for us by our Lord, and in and of itself, was an act that brought glory and honor of Him.
3.  In our previous study, we also saw that the Bible gives us a clear recognition that the burial of a body is a very acceptable way to dispose of the body following death. It is through the use of burials that a body is protected for the destructive forces found in nature and shows great respect for the deceased.
4.  In our first study we also saw that the use of cremation to dispose of the dead body, may be considered using a force of nature to destroy it.  If that is the case, then this would be an act of dishonor for the deceased and abuse of the dead body.
5.  Also, in several cases, cremation was used to destroy those who are enemies of the Lord and foreigners from the nation of Israel.  Again, this would seem to teach us the need to refrain from the use of fire to dispose of the dead body.

In this, our final study…
6.  We saw that most of the honored servants of God had their bodies placed in a tomb for their burial.
7.  There were only two types of exceptions to the burial of God’s people…  The martyred servants of the Lord, who then had their dead bodies treated abusively by the enemies of the Lord; and, a few other cases, where cremation was used motivated out of desires to honor the Lord and protect His people from harm and shame.
8.  In this lesson, we also saw that cremation could be looked at as symbolic of the Lord’s rejection and punishment of the body of the deceased.  However, we also saw that this same cremation could picture the Lord’s acceptance of the service that was once performed in the body.  To my way of thinking the symbolism of fire is a wash, since it could be looked at either way.
9.  Based upon the spiritual lesson learned from a burial, we saw that a burial was symbolized by a sown seed waiting to receive new life and sprout.  This being a picture of a saint’s body sleeping awaiting a future resurrection.
10.  We also saw that a burial was also a public declaration of what our Lord has done for us by dying on the cross and experiencing a resurrection with a glorified body.

I believe the overwhelming evidence of the Scriptures is for the burial of the body of the saint who has passed before us.  It is clearly and acceptable way to dispose of the dead body picturing what Christ has done for us (as well as following His example and the example of saints who have gone before us). It is a proper way of protecting the body from abuse by nature, as well as a picture of the saint’s sleeping body.

When it comes to cremation, this is a much more questionable method of disposal of the body.  It could be abusing a body using a force of nature, and is associated with the death of those who are enemies of the Lord and it also is missing an opportunity to picture the Lord’s burial, following the example He has set for us.  Finally, it lacks in it declaring that the saint’s body is “asleep” and awaiting a future resurrection.  When we look at all these issues we can see that the weight of evidence makes cremation a questionable practice.  However, we should never forget that the Bible does give examples of cremation being used in God glorifying ways. Therefore we cannot say that in every case cremation is a sinful act or displeasing to God.

My thoughts are that … Biblically, confidence can be found in the burial of the saint’s body.  It is clearly an acceptable, God honoring way to dispose of the believer’s body.   However, cremation is a much more questionable method of disposal of the body. Therefore, it must be selected with great care, prayer and consideration of the motives behind that decision.

The greatest consideration for us all is not the condition of our bodies following our death, but the condition of our souls now.  Keep in mind, one of the supreme goals of a Christian’s service to the Lord is to see the salvation of those who are lost.  For the Christian, are we certain our hearts are right with the Lord?  Likewise, are we living a life that glorifies and honors Christ?   Furthermore, are we using the opportunities the Lord has given to us to witness to and pray for the lost around us?  All of these things are of utmost importance.

For those who are lost, have you ever experienced the Lord’s saving grace in your life?  Have you ever seen that you have sinned against the Lord and, apart from His gracious intervention in your life, you can do nothing to gain forgiveness from Him?  Have you come before Him humbly, turning form those sins and trusting in Him to save you from those sins?  Have you ever experienced a change within you that results in recognizing Christ as your Lord and seeking to live your life for Him?

These are the marks of genuine salvation and the most important consideration that lies before us…

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:  Even as I please all [men] in all [things], not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.   (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His truth.

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Importance Of The Local Church -10 “The Accrediting Of The Assembly”

SIH STSTA ICON

“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this tenth lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the accrediting of the assembly.

What do we mean by the term “accrediting of the assembly”?  This phrase is describing the way that the Lord proved to all men that the local churches on earth are genuinely His assemblies.  Although there are many religions and cults that claim to be His assembly, He has given us indisputable proof that only His local assemblies on earth were established and authorized by Him.

 

THE STUDY:

The Lord Accredited His Assemblies Through The Use Of Miraculous Gifts Exercised By Those Who Were Members Of His Assemblies…

The Exercise Of The Gifts:

1 Corinthians 12:

1) Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2) Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5) And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6) And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Because there were many who did not recognize the authenticity of God’s Word nor His place of worship, the Lord graciously gave miraculous gifts to his local assemblies to endorse their message and their claims of authority.   Through the workings of these miracles, the Lord clearly differentiated between His message and house of worship from all of the counterfeits that this fallen world has to offer.  Although these gifts are many and diverse, they were all given by the same God for the singular purpose of accreditation and edification of His fledgling assemblies.

11) I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
12) Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
13) For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except [it be] that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
 
Here, Paul helps us to understand that these gifts were given to accredit (give irrefutable proof) the God-given authority of the apostolic office (an office created to expedite the founding of His  local assemblies).

27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29) [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?
30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

In this text, we see that the Lord not only varied the gifts that were given, but also He varied the individual recipient of the gift.  Not all men received the same gift(s), but God distributed His gifts based upon the needs of the local assembly and their community.  The recipient’s only responsibility was to exercise the best gift(s) that he was given in accord with the will of God for his individual ministry.  What are the “best gifts”? The gifts most needed by the assembly.  This phrase is basically teaching that each member should have desired to exercise whatever gift they possessed that would be of greatest benefit to the assembly for the current situation.

 

The Identity and Role Of The Gifts:

8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9)  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10)  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

 Here we find a specific list of the accrediting gifts given by God. They are divided into three basic types:
1.  The Revelation Of The Truth – The supernatural handing down of God’s Word to man:
a. “word of wisdom” (utterance of wisdom)
b. “word of knowledge” (utterance of knowledge).

2.  The Signs Of The Truth – The supernatural marks that indicate the presence of the divinely authorized Truth:
a. “faith” (not the fruit of saving faith, this is extraordinary faith that resulted in the performance of miracles),
b. “gifts of healing” (using an individual as the instrument of a physical healing),
c. “working of miracles” (ability to exercise of power to accomplish what is naturally impossible), d. “prophecy” (to perfectly foretell a future event),
e. “discerning of spirits” (perfect judgment of the aim and content of a message)

3.  The Proclamation of The Truth – The supernatural ability to proclaim truth in an unknown tongue:
a.  “diverse kinds of tongues” (the ability to speak God’s Word in a human language that is known by the hearer but unknown by the speaker),
b.  “the interpretation of tongues” (the ability to interpret God’s Word into a language known by the hearers.

This is a miracle sign gift because the language of the original message, or the language of the hearers is unknown to the interpreter).

The Ceasing Of The Gifts – The Word’s effect on them:

1 Corinthians 13:8-10

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”  

The gifts involving “the revelation of the truth” ended immediately with the completion of God’s Word being given to man in approx. 100 AD.  This can be seen in the phrases “they shall fail” and “it shall vanish away”.  In the original language of Greek, these phrases reveal that the failing and the vanishing away would take place with something directly acting upon them.  What was that “something”   that acted upon them bringing them to an end?  The completion of God’s Word…. “that which is perfect”.

The gifts involving “the signs of the truth” and “the proclamation of the truth” went out of existence gradually following the completion of God’s Word.  Once the Word was completed, the Lord ceased from granting these gifts to His assembly.  Those who possessed these gifts continued to exercise them until their physical death.  These gifts gradually “died off” as the miracle workers died off.   This can be seen in the phrase “they shall cease”. This phrase in the original language teaches us that these gifts will cease “in and of themselves”.  Nothing would act upon them bringing them to an abrupt end, but they would cease of their own deficiency.  Since the gifts were no longer granted, as the miracle workers died, these gifts went out of existence because they lacked an ongoing renewal.

There is no longer a need for these visible proofs of the authenticity of the Lord’s assembly.  Now that we have the completed Word of God, we have a written record of this accreditation.  It now becomes an issue of faith in the record of Word of God for proof of the accreditation of His assembly.

The Ceasing Of The Gifts – Their length of existence:

Over the years, studying the sign gifts of the Bible, I have learned something very interesting.  It seems as if these sign miracles of God were basically performed in three “groups” throughout Biblical history.  Please notice the following basic, generalized table to help explain my point:

Description Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
Miracle Workers Moses, Joshua Elijah, Elisha Christ, Apostles
Message Accredited Law Prophets New Testament
Place Of Worship Accredited Tabernacle Temple Church
Dates of Accreditation (Approximate)Based upon Philip Mauro’s Chronology 1530 BC-1460 BC 835 BC-765 BC 30 AD-100 AD

It has been so interesting for me to come to an understanding of the Lord’s motives in these sign miracles that were performed.  Note that the Lord, through divine miracles, accredited the messenger, as well as the section of Scripture written, and the worship place used at that time.

In each case, the “sign miracles” were in existence for approximately 70 years.

In each case, a “silent time” existed after each group of miracles, where no sign miracles and few, if any, other miracles were performed.  Why?  Once God established the validity of each of the above segments, there was no need for miracles until another segment was about to take place.

For example, following the accreditation of the tabernacle and the message of the law, there was no reason to accredit anything, or anyone, until the temple and the prophets came on the scene.  Likewise, there was an extended period of “miracle silence” after the completion of the Old Testament.  It was only when Christ came on the scene that we have a period of sign miracles taking place to validate the message of the New Testament and the church as the new place of worship for God’s people.

So therefore, tongues, being one of several sign gifts came to an end approximately 70 years after they had come into existence (29 or 30 AD), probably about 90-100 AD.  They would have gone out of existence in and of themselves, nothing had to act on them. This is unlike the gift of prophecy and knowledge which ceased at the completion of God’s Word.

 

THE SUMMARY:

The Lord has clearly displayed that the local assemblies on earth are the genuine, authorized places of worship for Jehovah God.  As such, they are the assemblies that are to proclaim the true message given from God to man contained in the Bible.

Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  God, Himself as proven beyond doubt that He has sanctioned the local assembly as His place of worship and His minister of God’s completed Word to mankind.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:

https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.pdf

For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:

https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

 

 

The Sacrifice Of Love

SIH STSTA ICONJohn 3:16 is arguably the most familiar verse found in the Bible….

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

In 1 John 3:16-19 we find another set of verses that contains the same basic theme…

“Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.”

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

“And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”

Let’s take a few minutes to study these two verses that address the Love of God which is shown to us by His acts of unselfishness and self-sacrifice…

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 3:16;  1 John 3:16-19;  Ephesians 5:1-2 ; 1John 4:9-11;  Mark 12:28-34; 1 Cor 13:4-12

THE STUDY:

Does God really love me?  This most important question has been asked by a multitude of people throughout the history of our world.  How can we really know if God loves us and cares about us and our needs?  The Bible gives us a clear proof of God’s love for us…. the sacrifice that He has made on our behalf.  Note our two texts….

John 3:16 ….

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

In our first text, please note that the God’s LOVE was displayed through the GIVING of His Son, a true act of self-sacrifice on behalf of God for His people.  Why is the birth of Christ such an important and special act of God?  It is a clear display of His love on behalf of sinful mankind.

Please note our second text:

1 John 3:16-19 …

Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?   My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

Here, we find that the way we can “perceive” (be aware, to see, to know assuredly) that God loves us is found in His act of self-sacrifice in giving of His life for His people.  Also, please note that in this second text, we find the Biblical mandate to make sacrifices for others in order to show our love for them as well.

True love involves self-sacrifice… a “love” that is selfish and demands only to receive is no love at all. Putting ourselves first, and others second, is turning love on its head, perverting the very nature of love.

Lets look at 1 John 4:9-11….

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

In this set of verses the word “manifested” means to “to take the cover off” or “ to reveal”.  How did God “take the cover off” His love for us?  By sending of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth.

Then Christ showed His love for us by giving His life for us.  He did this so that we, as sinners, could receive spiritual life.  The result of receiving God’s gift of love in our life, should be the showing of our love to others.

Ephesians 5:1-2 gives us more information about what Christ did for us…

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Here, we are told that the death of Christ was motivated by His love for us.  We are also told that His death for us was both a “sacrifice” and a “offering”.  It was a “sacrifice” in the sense that He gave of Himself (to the point of death).  It was an “offering” which tells us He willingly gave His life for us.   Oh what great love… to be willing to partake of death so that others could escape eternal death.  In these verses, we are once again reminded to follow this great example of self-sacrificial love.  How are we to do this?  By loving others as Christ loved us… with a self-sacrificial love.

Mark 12:28-34 (KJV)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.  And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him [any question].

Here we find the importance of love being clearly defined.  Our love (willingness to sacrifice ourselves) to God is described as the first and great commandment.  The commandment that should be our second priority is the command to love (be willing to sacrifice ourselves) for our neighbor.  Upon these two commands all the other laws are based.

If we love God and others as we should we will keep all the other commandments of God.  For example, if we love God as we should we will not take His name in vain nor would we worship other Gods,  if we love others as we should we would not steal from them nor would we lie to them.  This basic principle (supremacy of love for God and others) applies to all the commands of God.

Finally in 1Cor 13:4-12 (KJV)

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;   Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Please note, in the “love chapter” of the Bible, we find that every manifestation of love is an act of self-sacrifice.  Some examples of this include…. Patience, humility, contentment the list goes on and on.  In each of these cases, all of these flow forth from a heart of love and sacrifice willing to put others first and ourselves second.

Truly, the display of love, is based upon acts of sacrifice on behalf of others around us.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We are to appreciate the love that God has shown to us.  In doing so, we should be willing to follow His example and love others with a self-sacrificial type of love.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Please study the Bible to learn more about the great love that God the Father has shown to us in the sending of His Son to the earth.  Then learn more about the love of God the Son, as He gave his life on the cross so that we all might receive the forgiveness of our sins.  (to learn more about the way of salvation, you are welcome to read my blog page “How to have a relationship with God”, or you  can email me with your questions.  Also you can find any Bible-believing church in your area and contact them… I am sure they would be happy to help answer any questions you might have.

What great love…. What great self-sacrifice!  What a great Lord that we serve!

————————————————————————

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If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Abortion: When Does Life Begin In The Womb?

SIH STSTA ICON(Author’s Note: Due to the length of this Bible study, I have explained many of the Scripture verses in a very general, basic way.  If you have any questions concerning this Bible Study please feel free to contact me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I will be answer any emails promptly.)  

With the presidential debates taking place, I thought it would be a good time to review what the Bible teaches about some of the moral societal issues of today.  At the forefront of these issues are abortion and homosexuality (and same sex unions).  In today’s blog, I would like to center our attention on abortion.  In a later blog entry we will look at homosexuality and same sex-marriages.

Let’s begin today’s look at the Scriptural teachings on abortion.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Exod 20:13 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill.

Matt 19:18 (KJV) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Rom 13:9 (KJV)  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Rev 22:14-15 (KJV) Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Matt 18 (KJV) At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matt 19:13-15 (KJV) Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put [his] hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid [his] hands on them, and departed thence.

Gen 25:22-23 (KJV) And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If [it be] so, why [am] I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.  And the LORD said unto her, Two nations [are] in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and [the one] people shall be stronger than [the other] people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Luke 1:41 (KJV) And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luke 2:12-16 (KJV) And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Job 3:3 (KJV) Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night [in which] it was said, There is a man child conceived.

Luke 1:36 (KJV) And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Num 12:12 (KJV) Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:43 (KJV) And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Ps 51:5 (KJV) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Job 31:13-15 (KJV)  If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

Ps 139:13 (KJV) For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

Ps 22:9-10 (KJV) But thou [art] he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope [when I was] upon my mother’s breasts.  I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou [art] my God from my mother’s belly.

Gal 1:15 (KJV) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called [me] by his grace,

Jer 1:4-5 (KJV) Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Isa 49:1 (KJV) Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Luke 1:15 (KJV) For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

Psa 139:14-16 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.

Deut 22:25-27 (KJV) But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; [there is] in the damsel no sin [worthy] of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so [is] this matter: For he found her in the field, [and] the betrothed damsel cried, and [there was] none to save her.

Lev 20:11-17 (KJV) And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood [shall be] upon them…. And if a man take a wife and her mother, it [is] wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you… And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it [is] a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Ezek 18:20 (KJV) The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Rom 12:17-21 (KJV) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Titus 2:4 (KJV) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

1Cor 13:4-7 (KJV)  Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

John 15:13 (KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Matt 23:37 (KJV)  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!

Exod 21:22-23 (KJV) If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart [from her], and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges [determine]. And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

 

THE STUDY:

I.  The Taking of Innocent Life Is Murder

Most, if not all of us, understand that the taking of innocent life is sinful.  Both in the Old and New Testaments, we find this teaching clearly on display…

“Thou shalt not kill” is not only a part of the Old Testament law (Ex 20:13), but it is also reaffirmed by Christ Himself in the New Testament (Matt 19:18).  Also, we find the Apostle Paul repeating the murder prohibition in Romans 13:9.  Finally, we see clearly that those who are found guilty of the sin of murder will be restricted from heaven and eternally judged for their sin (Rev 22:14-15)  The Bible is clear… murder is a sin in God’s eyes punishable by eternal death.

The Lord Jesus also made it plain that young children were to have special protection, attention and care given to them (Matt 18:1-6, Matt 19:13-15).

In our study of abortion, if we accept that the taking of innocent life is sinful, the question then becomes… does a fetus, in its mother’s womb possess life?  If so, at what point does its life come into existence?   At whatever point the fetus possesses life, the abortion procedure becomes murder.  This is the issue that we are going to examine in this study.

II. A fetus in the womb is considered a child and the pregnant woman is considered the child’s mother.

In Genesis 25:22-23, twins in their mother’s womb are given the title “children”.  The Hebrew word for children is Ben…. It is the common word used to describe children throughout the OT.  In Luke 1:41, John the Baptist while yet in his mother’s womb is described as “babe”.  The Greek word for babe is the word brephos…. This same Grk word is used in Luke 2:12-16 to describe Christ, the babe that was wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger in Bethlehem.

In both of the above examples, we can clearly see that based upon vocabulary usage, the Bible does not differentiate between a babe in its mother’s womb and a babe that has been born into this world.

You can also see this principle in Job 3:3 where we are told that it was a “man child” that was conceived in his mother’s womb.  Luke 1:36 tells us that it was a “son” that was conceived.

In Numbers 12:12 – we find that even in the case of a woman who has given birth to a still born child.  She is still considered a mother, because her child had possessed life while the baby was within her womb.   This same principle is presented in Luke 1:43 when a pregnant Mary is described as the “mother of my Lord”

III. A fetus in the womb is considered a distinct human being with whom the Lord actively intervenes.

In Psa 51:5 the psalmist describes himself, at conception, as “I” and “me”.  Pointing to his personhood beginning with his conception, throughout his mother’s pregnancy and birth and then throughout his life outside the womb.  This can also be seen in Job 31:13-15, where Job describes himself in the womb as “I”, “me” and “us”. In Psa 139:13, the psalmist says “thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb”. Once again, we can see that during his time in his mother’s womb, he was an individual human ( “me”) that was simply “covered” in the womb.

In Psalm 22:9-10 we are told that God was in control of the conception, formation and birth of the child.  This is proof that He was the child’s God even from his mother’s womb.

The Apostle Paul was called by God to his ministry while he was yet in his mother’s womb in Gal 1:15.  The same holds true for Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-5), Isaiah (Isa 49:1), and John The Baptist (Luke 1:15).

IV.  When does life begin in the womb?

In Psa 139:14-16, we find the development of the fetus is in view.  Please notice the 2 stages of development include….

1. the initial formation of genetic material (at conception when the seed meets the egg) “in thy book all were written… when as yet there was none of them.”

2.  the continual forming of the body (based upon the dictates of the genetic material) “in continuance was fashioned” The continual forming and growth of the baby from coneption forward is a sign of the baby possessing life from conception forward.

In other words, the Lord made the Psalmist “in secret” (ie in his mother’s womb – “lowest parts of the earth”) .   When the Lord first made the Psalmist, he was “yet unperfect” (undeveloped) .  However, even though he was undeveloped, all the genetic instructions (“in thy book all my members were written”) were present .   The baby’s body, organs etc, were not physically in existence (“as yet when there was none of them”) although they were in existence in the genetic code.

The baby was in existance and an individual human being from conception.  As the baby grows and develops (following the genetic instructions that are received at conception) the life within the fertilized egg is clearly seen.

Here, we find the answer to the question, “When does the baby receive life while in the womb?”  The Bible makes it plain that the genetic makeup of the child was existing from the very beginning of its formation.  This same genetic code is proof that the child is not simply a part of the mothers’ body.  On a genetic level the baby existed, in it’s entirety from conception.  Add to that the principle of growth and development immediately beginning at conception and we have a clear answer to our question.  The baby’s life began at conception…. the baby existed in it’s entirety at conception and exhibited growth and development from that point forward.

V.  What About Rape or Incest… Is Abortion Allowed In These Cases?

Both Rape and Incest are horrible sins in the eyes of the Lord (Lev 20:11-17, Deut 22:25-27). Any victim of these brutal acts should be treated with the greatest amount of concern, compassion and aid.  As Christians, we have the responsibility to help these victims in any way possible.

In Eze 18:20 we find a basic Biblical principle that I believe applies in these cases…. “the son shall bot bear the iniquity of father”…  Although a pregnancy may have come about due to the heinous sinful act of another, the child should not be punished for the sin of their father.  In other words, taking the child’s life, simply because the child was conceived in a sinful manner (rape, incest) cannot be defended.

Please keep mind, although the child may have been conceived as the result of sin, the murder of the child cannot be justified.  Two wrongs do not make a right, nor is a murder justified by the act of rape or incest.  In Rom 12:17-21… we are reminded that the Biblical method of dealing with wickedness is to “overcome evil with good”.  In other words,  to “recompense” one evil act with another evil act is of no spiritual value.  But by displaying love and kindness to others in the midst of wickedness is glorifying to the Lord who set us

the ultimate example of goodness in the midst of wickedness.

VI.  What About Abortion To Protect The Life of the Mother?

One of the most difficult situations a mother can face is to know that by giving birth to her child may endanger her life.  Anyone in this situation should prayerfully, consider the Biblical teachings on the Mother/Child love relationship.

In Titus 2:4 young mothers are told to” love their children”.   1 Cor 13:4-7 helps us to understand that the basis of a true, Biblical love is self-sacrifice.  Both of these verses, when viewed together, helps us to understand that a mother’s role is one of self-sacrifice… constantly working for the good of the child even at great personal cost.  That great personal cost may even extend to the giving of one’s life.

In John 15:13, our Lord tells us that “greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  This principle applies to a mother and child as illustrated by our Lord in Matthew 23:37… where the Lord speaks of a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings, protecting them from harm at the risk of her own life.

In the rare event that a pregnancy puts at risk the mother’s life… would it not be proper for the mother to be willing to risk her life for the sake of her unborn child?

VII. Is There Any Example of Someone Being Punished For Harming A Child In The Womb?

In Ex 21:22-23 we find the case of a pregnant woman who is accidently harmed during a fight between two men.  In this case, if she gives birth prematurely due to the injury she received, the party causing her injury was to be “punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him”.  The implication is that the child is prematurely born but does not suffer harm nor death.

However, these verses go on to explain if “mischief” follows.  IE if the child is permanently harmed or dies then “thou shalt give life for life”.  The offender must pay for the mischief that befalls the child due to the premature birth.  If the child dies due to the premature birth then, the offender life was to be taken… “Then thou shalt give life for life”.

This verse clearly tells us that harm to a child within the womb is to be treated just as if any other human being was harmed.  But more importantly, we see that harm to a child in the womb that results in the child’s death is to be punished with death.

What clearer declaration about the sinfulness of abortion could we find anywhere in Scripture?

Exod 21:22-23 (KJV)

22) If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart [from her], and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges [determine].

23) And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Currently, since abortions are legal in our country, the abortion decision must be made on an individual basis between the parents of the unborn and their God.  By God’s grace, a proper understanding of the Scriptures will make clear the sinfulness of abortion and the need for the unborn to be brought to full term.

For those who have already aborted their child, or for those doctors who have committed abortions, forgiveness can be found with our God.

Isa 55:7 (KJV)  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Mark 3:28 (KJV)

28) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

If you have more questions concerning forgiveness and the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

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My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Valentine’s Day Devotion: But The Greatest Of These Is Love – Part 3

SIH STSTA ICONOne of the most talked about sections of Scripture is found in the book of 1 Corinthians.  Chapter 13, commonly called the “love chapter of the Bible”.  In this small section of Scripture we have several basic principles concerning love being addressed:

  1. vs 1-3 – the absolute necessity of love (charity) in all aspects of Christian life and ministry
  2. vs 4-7- the evidences of Biblical love
  3. vs 8-12- the eternal nature of Biblical love compared to the ceasing of Divine, inspired revelation to man; the physical / spiritual maturing of an individual picturing the increasing revelation of God received by man until completion; the increasing understanding of God due to completed revelation
  4. vs 13a- the continuation of love, faith and hope
  5. vs 13b- the supremacy of love over faith and hope

We will divide our study of this section of Scripture into 3 basic parts.  In the last part of our study we will be looking at 1 Corinthians 13:11-13.

Let us prayerfully, begin our study of the compelling and important subject of love…

THE SCRIPTURE:

1Cor 13:1-13 (KJV)

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

THE STUDY:

In our previous study, we saw how both the gifts of prophecy and knowledge ceased to exist when the last of God’s revelation to man was received.    We now turn our attention to two examples given by Paul to help illustrate the principle.

1 Corinthians 13:

Vs 11 – When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Paul now uses the example of the physical maturing process to picture the process of God’s revealed Word being brought to completion.  Just as Paul’s growth allowed him to come to a more mature and full understanding of life, so too, as God’s Word is brought to completion, it brings to us a fuller understanding of our Lord and our responsibilities as servants.

Based on the Word being brought to completion during the age of the Corinthian church. It was time for them to “grow up” and become mature as well. It would only be at that time that they could use the wonderful blessing of His completed Word to help them to correct the many errors in their assembly.

Vs 12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Paul now compares our understanding of God in our sinful flesh with mankind’s knowledge of God with only a portion of His Word given to them.  In both cases, an incomplete view of God is had by man.

  1. Paul describes a time when God cannot be seen clearly
    1. Paul describes our life in sinful flesh as seeing our Lord “through a glass darkly”.
    2. Paul then compares this to mankind trying to see a full picture of Christ with only a portion of God’s Word given to man. “now I know in part”.
  2. Paul next describes when we can receive a fuller vision of Christ
    1. When we go home to be with the Lord in heaven, it is seeing Him “face to face”, this will result in seeing Him much more clearly than while in our sinful flesh.
    2. Paul then compares this to receiving His completed Word which gives us a much more full revelation of the Lord.  “ then shall I know even as also I am known” .

In other words, through the completed revelation of God given to man, we can now understand truths about Him, much like others can come to know us.  Others can see much about us clearly but they still do not know everything about us (especially what goes on inside of us)

Vs 13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

After telling us about the Word it’s soon completion, Paul now beings us back to the original thought.  That love is even greater that our three existing gifts of faith, hope and love.

Why didn’t Paul mention prophecy or knowledge as abiding (to continue on for extended period of time, to endure to limit)? We have already seen they would end within a short period of time when Word was brought to completion.  So he didn’t include these on our list.

But why didn’t he include the gift of tongues… when did they cease to exist?  Tongues ceased to exist, around the same time as knowledge and prophecy.  Tongues was one of several “sign gifts” that God gave to mankind.  These were gifts given by God to His followers to accredit their message and to prove He was the only true God.  This is why these types of miracles are called “sign gifts” from God (Exo 3:14, 4:1-8)   A listing of the sign gifts can be found at 1 Cor 12:8-11.

Over the years, studying the sign gifts of the Bible, I have noticed something very interesting.  It seems as if these sign miracles of God were basically performed in three “groups” throughout Biblical history.  Please notice the following basic, generalized table to help explain my point:

Group 1                            Group 2                               Group 3

Miracle Workers:  Moses, Joshua    Elijah, Elisha, Other Prophets   Christ, Apostles

Worship Accredited:  Tabernacle Worship            Temple Worship                Church Worship

Message Accredited:  Law                                 Prophets                           New Testament

It has been so interesting for me to come to an understanding of the Lord’s motives in these sign miracles that were performed.  Note that the Lord, through divine miracles, accredited the messenger, as well as the section of Scripture written, and the worship place used at that time.  In each case, the “sign miracles” were in existence for approximately 70 years. In each case, a “silent time” existed after each group of miracles, where no sign miracles and few, if any, other miracles were performed.  Why?  Once God established the validity of each of the above segments, there was no need for miracles until another segment was about to take place.

For example, following the accreditation of the tabernacle and the message of the law, there was no reason to accredit anything, or anyone, until the temple and the prophets came on the scene.  Likewise, there was an extended period of “miracle silence” after the completion of the Old Testament.  It was only when Christ came on the scene that we have a period of sign miracles taking place to validate the message of the New Testament and the church as the new place of worship for God’s people.

So therefore, tongues, being one of several sign gifts came to an end approximately 70 years after they had come into existence (29 or 30 AD), probably about 90-100 AD.  They would have gone out of existence in and of themselves, nothing had to act on them. This is unlike the gift of prophecy and knowledge which ceased at the completion of God’s Word.

Putting all of this together, it is easy to see why only faith, hope and charity are said to “abide” (to stray in place for an extended period of time).  The gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues would go out of existence within a few years after Paul’s ministry would be complete.

But not so with faith, hope and love.  They would continue on until the second coming of Christ.  When Christ comes back we will have no need of faith nor hope…. As we begin, our eternity with Him, we will begin the process of receipt of all His promises to us.  Faith and hope will no longer be needed, we will be experiencing all He has for us.

At that point, faith and hope will no longer be in existence, but only love will continue on to eternity.  Thus making “love” the greatest gift of all that are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:.

    • Gifts are temporary but love is eternal
    • Gifts are elementary but love is mature
    • Gifts are partial but love is complete

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

As we come to a completion of our study the basic principles we have learned about love compared to the other gifts mentioned is significant.

First of all we saw that God’s gifts to man are temporary, but love is eternal.

Secondly, the gifts of God are elementary, love is the essence of maturity.

Thirdly, the gifts of God are partial, but love is complete.

Keeping all this in mind, it should not surprise us that the Lord gave Peter this word of self inspection and instruction….

John 21:15-17 (KJV)

15So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

You see, our love for the Lord should be one of the ultimate motives in our service to Him.  The more we love and appreciate Him the greater our service to Him.  Is our service motivated by our love for Him?  Is our helping and instructing others coming from a heart filled with love for our Lord?

May the Lord help all of us to be able to say “yes” to these questions.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

If you have never experienced the love of God in your lives, look to Him knowing He has made clear His love and concern for His people…

1John 4:7-12 (KJV)

7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Valentine’s Day Devotion:But The Greatest Of These Is Love -2

SIH STSTA ICONThe Eternal Nature of Love 

One of the most talked about sections of Scripture is found in the book of 1 Corinthians.  Chapter 13, commonly called the “love chapter of the Bible”.  In this small section of Scripture we have several basic principles concerning love being addressed:

  1. vs 1-3 – the absolute necessity of love (charity) in all aspects of Christian life and ministry
  2. vs 4-7- the evidences of Biblical love
  3. vs 8-12- the eternal nature of Biblical love compared to the ceasing of Divine, inspired revelation to man; the physical / spiritual maturing of an individual picturing the increasing revelation of God received by man until completion; the increasing understanding of God due to completed revelation
  4. vs 13a- the continuation of love, faith and hope
  5. vs 13b- the supremacy of love over faith and hope

We will divide our study of this section of Scripture into 3 basic parts.  In today’s blog entry we will look at 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.  And in our final part we will look at verses 11-13.

Let us prayerfully, begin our study of the compelling and important subject of love…

THE SCRIPTURE:

1Cor 13:1-13 (KJV)

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

THE STUDY:

1 Corinthians 13:

Vs 8 – Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Here, Paul makes it very plain that love is the only gift of the four divine gifts (love, prophecy, tongues, knowledge) that will exist eternally.   In our previous study, we explained that both knowledge and prophecy was related to the divine inspiration of Scripture, when the Lord handed His Word to mankind.  The sign gift of tongues was related to the accreditation of the ministry of Christ, His NT Word and the local church ministry.

(Please note it is crucial to understand the meaning of the phrases “shall fail”, “shall cease”, and “shall vanish away”…

  1. “shall fail”
    1. is the greek word – “pauo” – it means “to stop”, “to be made complete” and “to end”.
    2. is in the middle voice, meaning the subject of the verb is acting upon itself.  In other words, tongues would “stop by themselves” or “would be ended in and of themselves”
  2. “shall cease” and “shall vanish away”
    1. Both of these phrases are the same Grk word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
    2. Both of these are in the passive voice meaning the subject of the verb receives the action.  In other words our verse is saying that “the perfect thing” (vs 10) will cause both knowledge and prophecy to “no longer be exercised”, or “to vanish away”

Vs 9 – For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Out of the four previously mentioned gifts from God… knowledge and prophecy are set apart as being “in part”.  What does in part mean?  This phrase is referring to the nature of divinely inspired revelation to man.  Keep in mind, as God handed down His word to mankind, he did it over many years and many different men.  He gave it a part at time, not all at once.   (Isa 28:9-13)

The gifts of prophecy and knowledge were “in part” meaning… as each prophecy came from God (as each bit of knowledge came to man) they were “one part” of the whole of divine revelation to man.  Until the final revelation from God was received by John on the Isle of Patmos (the book of Revelation), both knowledge and prophecy received by man was only a piece of His Word.  At the end of the message given to John on Patmos, the word was finally completed.  It was only then that mankind had the prophecy and knowledge God had chosen to give to man in a state of completeness.

Love exists eternally, knowledge, prophesying and the gift of tongues will definitely come to an end, making love a much more valuable gift from God.

Vs 10 – But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Paul here describes what causes prophecy and knowledge to vanish away.  He describes it as “that which is perfect.  To help us understand what Paul is referring to we need to recognize a few important points in our study…

  1. Lets review a few points from the previous verses in our study
  1. Remember, in the previous verse of our study we saw that the gifts that were in part were the gifts of prophecy and knowledge.
  2. Also, we saw that the ending of these gifts were described by the Grk word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
  3. Thirdly, we learned that based on the Grk passive voice, something must act upon the knowledge and prophecy “to render it useless” or “to cause it to vanish away.”

2.  What has acted on the gift of prophecy and knowledge rendering them worthless?  It is the completed revelation from God… Once God had given to man all of His Word, there was no need for prophecy or knowledge gifts any longer… they were now useless and ineffective because the Lord was not going to give men His inspired revelation any longer.

  1. Remember, the Lord has made it plain that the Word He has given to us is now complete with the revelation He had given to John.  We will be receiving no additional inspired truth from Him.  (Rev 22:18, Heb 1:1-2)
  2. We know it is His Word that is perfect based on the Greek word for “perfect”

The word for perfect here is the Grk word “telios” – which means “complete”, “matured”, “brought to completion”.  “Telios” refers to the Word of God in James 1:25.  The only other two times this word is used in 1 Corinthians “telios” refers to human beings who are mature, or should be mature in the faith. (1 Cor 2:6, 1 Cor 14:20).  Also there are many other occasions in the Word of God where this word refers to the same type of idea.  (Matt 19:21, Phil 3:15, Col 1:28, 4:12 etc etc)

In Matthew 5:48 “telios” is used to describe the Lord and in the context, it is describing His absolute maturity.  Note that the issue of treating all men kindly and with respoect is the issue being addressed, this is a mark of spiritual maturity.  We are to even pray for those that mistreat us.  By doing this, we will be mature Christians following the example of our Father who is in heaven.  He is the epitome of spiritual maturity and completeness.  The issue is not sinlessness, the issue, here is spiritual maturity.  Learning to treat all men with love and kindness. The very issue of our study in 1 Corinthians.  No place in Scripture does the word “telios” mean sinlessly perfect.

3.  But what about the Lord?  We’ve already seen that the Lord is described using the term “telios” In Matthew 5:48.  However, we have already seen that this “perfect thing” that is coming must act on the gifts of prophecy and knowledge rendering them useless.  If this is so then…

  1. We have to say that the Lord is continually revealing His inspired word to man throughout the ages. In other words, His word is not in completed form but He is continually adding to His revealed Word to man. This revealing of the Word will only stop at His second coming.
  2. If this is so, we should be continually adding to the Scriptures.  Every new revelation God gives to man should be added to the Scriptures.  This principle does away with the warning given by John to not add to the Scriptures (Rev 22:18-19).
  3. And also the fullness and completeness of God’s Word for us to use is done away with.  Therefore we cannot count on His Word being the complete set of instructions for us to live by. (2 Tim 3:16-17)  In this hypothetical scenario, we may face situations that the Word cannot equip us to face.  What happens if the part of the Word we need now, will not be revealed to man for another 25 years?  Our entire view of the Scriptures must change if this is the case.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

Remember, the principle concerning love that is presented in our study today…. Charity NEVER FAILS.  But all these other gifts that are mentioned have already failed and now cease to exist.  We’ve seen that the gifts of prophecy and knowledge have already ceased to exist when man received the final revelation of God to man.  In our next study, we will see that the gift of tongues has already gone out of existence as well.

The eternal nature of love is one of the many reasons why love is counted as superior over these sign gifts.

With the importance of love in view… should we not all strive to show love to others?  How much love do we show others?  Or maybe, I should ask it this way… how much are we willing to sacrifice for others?  This is the true mark of love.

John 15:12-14 (KJV)

12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

If you have never experienced the love of God in your lives, look to Him knowing He has made clear His love and concern for His people…

1John 4:7-12 (KJV)

7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Valentine’s Day Devotion: But The Greatest Of These Is Love – Part 1

SIH STSTA ICONOne of the most talked about sections of Scripture is found in the book of 1 Corinthians.  Chapter 13, commonly called the “love chapter of the Bible”.  In this small section of Scripture we have several basic principles concerning love being addressed:

  1. vs 1-3 – the absolute necessity of love (charity) in all aspects of Christian life and ministry
  2. vs 4-7- the evidences of Biblical love
  3. vs 8-12- the eternal nature of Biblical love compared to the ceasing of Divine, inspired revelation to man; the physical / spiritual maturing of an individual picturing the increasing revelation of God received by man until completion; the increasing understanding of God due to completed revelation
  4. vs 13a- the continuation of love, faith and hope
  5. vs 13b- the supremacy of love over faith and hope

We will divide our study of this section of Scripture into 3 basic parts.  In today’s blog entry we will look at 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.   In section two of our study we will be examining verses 8-10. And in our final part we will look at verses 11-13.

Let us prayerfully, begin our study of the compelling and important subject of love…

THE SCRIPTURE:

1Cor 13:1-13 (KJV)

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

THE STUDY:

1 Corinthians 13:

Vs 1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

If men were not motivated by love when they exercised the gift of tongues, they were simply making noise without gaining any spiritual benefit for themsleves or the listener.

(Note here,  that angels are seen throughout the Bible as God’s “messengers” delivering His Word to those of God’s choosing.  This is why in many verses, a human messenger sent by God is described by this same Greek word “angelos” (matt 11:10, Lk 7:24, 2 Cor 8:23 etc etc etc )

In EVERY case, angels speak human languages as they give God’s Words to man.  Paul is saying whether he shared God’s word in a off-hand everyday way, or as part of an authoritative, divinely called ministry, without love, he is not actually pleasing the Lord.

The divinely given  gift of tongues was the ability to speak a human tongue not learned by the speaker.  It was intended to give the gospel message to foreigners who could not speak the same language as the speakers.  Acts 2:1-13.  The main purpose of the gift of tongues, like all other sign gifts, was to accredit the ministry of Christ, the apostles and the first churches as they took the gospel to the Gentiles.)

Vs 2 – And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Paul, says that the display of miraculous feats, without love, are of no true spiritual value.   The four miraculous feats that Paul talks of are feats involving inspiration, knowledge and faith.

(At the time of the writing of 1 Corinthians 13:, the revelation of God’s Word to mankind was not completed.  God still had more to say to man.  This is why the gift of prophecy, understanding, and knowledge were still in effect at the writing of this letter.

The gift of prophecy is simply the miraculous ability to receive a message from God and to be able to reveal it to man without error.  The ability to understand all mysteries, involves a supernatural ability given by God to understand the spiritual truths that He revealed to man.  The third gift is the ability to possess knowledge that had never been shown to man before.

All three of these gifts were absolutely necessary as God handed down His Word to mankind.  They are three different aspects of God’s giving His Word to man via Divine inspiration)  And now that the Word is completed there is no longer any need for these gifts.

Vs 3 – And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Paul states although he gave up his possessions to meet the needs of the poor, and if He was willing to sacrifice his very body and life for the cause of Christ, if he was not motivated by a love for Christ and others, all of these immense sacrifices were of no spiritual profit for him.

In verses 1-3, we come to a very important and overlooked principle of our service to our Lord.  All areas of our service to Him, must be motivated form a heart of love for God and man.  That is why love for God and others is described as the “first and great commandment” … Matt 22:37-39

Vs 4-7 – Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 Here, we find the evidence of Biblical love in our life. These are the signs that we have a Biblical love in our hearts as we serve our Lord and others…

  1. Charity suffereth long, – patient
  2. [and] is kind; – make our self useful to others
  3. charity envieth not; – does not desire possessions of others
  4. charity vaunteth not itself, – does not brag about self
  5. is not puffed up, – to believe we are better than another
  6. Doth not behave itself unseemly, – does not make someone look bad in public
  7. seeketh not her own, – does not live selfishly
  8. is not easily provoked,  – does not get agitated, irritated easily
  9. thinketh no evil; – does not plan nor desire evil
  10. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, – does not find joy in sin of others
  11.  but rejoiceth in the truth;  – finds joy in truth of  God’s Word
  12.  Beareth all things,  – to be willing to “put up” with things in silence
  13. believeth all things, – exercises faith, trust in others
  14. hopeth all things, –  thinks the best of others, sees the best in others
  15. endureth all things – willing to bear up under burdens for extended period of time 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

We have seen the importance of love in every aspect of our service to the Lord.  We have also seen the marks of true love in our loves.

Do our lives exhibit the Lord’s love?  Are our ministries motivated by a love for Christ and others?

If we can say “yes” to these questions, we can have joy knowing that our ministries, and lives, are pleasing to our Lord.  If we must say “no” to these questions… we need to reevaluate our service, and lives, we are living for Christ.  It is very possible we are simply going through the motions without ever actually having experienced God’s grace in our lives.  This is the message of Matt 7:21-23.

Matt 7:21-23 (KJV)

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

If you have never experienced the love of God in your lives, look to Him knowing He has made clear His love and concern for His people…

1John 4:7-12 (KJV)

7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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