Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

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'Satan' Identified?

Written by Ivor Thomas. Posted in Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

‘Satan’ or ‘Devil’ are words meaning ‘False accuser(s) or ‘Opposer(s)’.

Devil B

 The BIBLE itself provides the answers to the meanings of these words.

 Irrefutable evidence does away with hypothesis and vain debates, where all try to justify them and blame others.

The answer is given in the creation account in Genesis the FIRST book of The Bible, and NOT as some believe and promote, in the last book, which is written in ‘signs and symbols’ about the FUTURE. (Rev 1:1).

 Genesis 3:12.

“And (Adam) said (to God), The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”  

Examine this carefully and you will see that no apology was given, but rather Adam lays the blame firmly with God himself! He is clearly saying, “Its YOUR fault, YOU gave me Eve, and she led me astray. Thus suggesting that if God had created Eve properly, she would not have led him astray! Obedience to what God said was completely ignored – just as it is today.

 Thus Adam ‘accuses’ God of incompetence, and ‘Stands up to, or ‘Challenges/opposes’ God.

 Eve then follows Adam’s example, saying that it was God who created the serpent, which led her astray!

 Adam and Eve therefore set the precedent, saying that God was at fault. They felt that it was not really their fault, and ignored the fact that they had, having been given free will and the ability to reason, REJECTED being obedient to what God had declared.

ALL their descendants have continued to do the same, ignoring the importance of obedience by saying that God created a faulty angel, who rebelled, and that God agreed to let this evil angel continue to lead people astray from his word, until He decided otherwise. (They COMPOUND their error by making their God unrighteous! Just think of the chaos that would come if we all tried to follow their God’s example!!!)

 Mankind continues to ‘accuse’ God of incompetence, and believe that they know best.   This reasoning has become part of our DNA. The words ‘Satan’ and ‘Devil’ can therefore apply to Adam, Eve, and all individuals, groups, rulers, and the world at large. The Rejecters of God’s word or purpose are thus personified, just like ‘wisdom’ is personified in Proverbs 7:4.

Romans 8: 6 “The carnal mind (fleshly mind or human nature -our DNA) is enmity against God;”

 James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

 Jesus made a quite remarkable statement in Mark 7:14. “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things that come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any have ears to hear, let him hear.”     Therefore, anything that an imaginary Satan can put into the mind of man would not defile him, nor make him rebel against God.

Jesus then continues, “For FROM WITHIN, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these things come from WITHIN, and defile the man.”

Man has to learn that he is responsible for his own actions, and not blame anyone else.

 God gave man free will so that those who believed what He said, and tried to do what He commanded, would, in due time, be REWARDED. His purpose, centred in Jesus Christ, was to ensure what He declares in Habbakkuk 2:14 and Isaiah 6:3 will come to pass. “The whole earth will be full of His glory.”

 Only by studying God’s word and realising that we have to try and overcome our resistance to obeying what God requires of us, being obedience and faith, by responding correctly. Man can then begin to understand God’s purpose with creation, and how that purpose is inexorably progressing towards its completion, as is prophesied throughout the scriptures.

 

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GOD'S EXISTENCE CAN BE PROVED

Written by Ivor Thomas. Posted in Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

In Daniel 12:4 we find the prophecy that at the time of the end “knowledge shall be increased”.

When we realise that at the start of the 20th century houses did not have electricity, communication was slow and difficult, travel was the preserve of the ultra-rich and traders, and that air travel was just a pipe dream, then consider the fantastic advances have been made in science in the last 100 years, and increasingly so in the past 20 years, it becomes apparent that technological progress has enabled civilisation to amass more information than the previous thousands of year put together.

Later, in Daniel 12:10 it states, “none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” The question is, Understand what? The undeniable answer, is that all is in the purpose of God. How come?

All scientific discoveries have demonstrated that there IS a Creator, and opened up the understanding and accuracy of many scriptural references. There are so many that a book could be written to cover all the various relevant references.

The important thing to bear in mind, is that the ‘increase in knowledge’ is solely to enable God’s power and might to be made known to all, whether they accept it or not.

 To demonstrate the impact that ‘modern’ discoveries have made, I will mention just a few.

1. Zechariah 14:12, speaking of what is still to come; “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” Nuclear research and weapons have shown that the elements are available, for God to use to bring about destruction upon those who oppose his purpose. Ezekiel 39:12 “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.” This shows the extent of the coming destruction, and reveals to all that God is in control, and that His purpose WILL come to pass.

2. Christ reveals the future in Revelation 1:7, saying that “every eye shall see him.” The fantastic advances in social media with instant recording and transmission of events, show that when Christ returns EVERYONE will not only be able to see prophetic events unfolding, but will have the personal responsibility and opportunity to respond to his call to submit to His rule and God’s word.

3. God’s omnipresence. Many question how it is possible for someone to be everywhere at once. Our minds are so limited in knowledge that the most we can do, is to understand the concept. As we look around the world, we find that increasingly the population have televisions and multi-media access. Take for example, the recent events surrounding Nelson Mandela’s death in South Africa. The events were beamed throughout every corner of the world. Everyone could then ‘see’ any live individual that were there, WHEREVER they happened to be. NOW, reverse the procedure, and it becomes obvious that if we had the technology, we could see all the viewers at the same time. God HAS this ability!

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Zechariah and his two staves

Written by Robert Roberts. Posted in Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

Zechariah,  Chapter 11:7-14

7.         And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

8.         Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.

9.         Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.

10.        And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.

11.        And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.

12.        And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13.        And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

14.        Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

*         *        *

Answer.

   The incident is an enacted parable, as we may learn (1) from the general employment of the prophets as men of sign, of whom Zechariah was one, (Isa. 8:18, Ezek. 12:6, Zech. 3:8 – margin); and (2) from the surroundings of the particular case in question.

   Zechariah receives a command to "feed the flock of slaughter" (verse 4), that is, the flock subject to slaughter; that is , Israel, whose possessors fattened by their destruction (verse 5).This was a command to act the part of a shepherd. He therefore takes two staves (verse 7), the implements of a shepherd, the crosier or shepherds staff to this day fossilized in the ritualism of a false church. Furnished with these, he acts a shepherd's part, at the finishing of which he is instructed to take other instruments: "Take thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd; for lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land which shall not" – act a fostering part, &c. The taking of the instruments of a foolish shepherd was the enacting of a prophecy of evil coming upon Israel. So the taking of the two staves in the first case was the enacting of a prophecy. What was this prophecy?

   The introduction of Christ into it gives us the clue. He is introduced into it by the quotation of a verse of this chapter by Matthew as having reference to Christ. The verse is this "So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, cast it unto the potter a goodly price that I was prized at of them." This is quoted as a prophecy of Christ in Matt. 27:9 & 10. With this guidance, we may work out the prophecy of the two staves.

   It had reference to the finishing of Israel's history in the land. Zechariah prophesied about 520 BC. There had yet to run about 600 years when the time God should no more pity the inhabitants of the land (verse 6), but break them up and cast them out, because of their iniquity. But before this catastrophe should come, God himself would do a kindly shepherd's work in their midst, which should be brought to bear upon the poor. "I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock," (verse 7). Yet a work which should end in failure, and which should be succeeded by a long sham shepherd work in which a professional shepherdism, of ostentatious mitre and crosier, instead of feeding the flock, (tending the young and healing the broken), should eat the fat and tear with ferocious claw, (verse 16 & 17).

   The kindly shepherd work was by Christ in the land, the form of God in their midst. He is typified by Zechariah and his two staves –" the one called Beauty and the other called Bands" – that is excellence and union. Zechariah fed the flock: (verse7, last clause), but his work brought him into collision with the established shepherds, three of whom he cut off, mutual aversion strongly ensuing.   The flock (that is the people), may be supposed to have sided with the professional

shepherds. Zechariah then throws up the work and leaves the people to all the evil consequences that would come: "Then I said I will not feed you; that that dieth, let it, &c. "Then he breaks the first staff to indicate the cessation of the effort. When he did so, "the poor of the flock that waited on him knew that it was the word of the Lord," though the rest did not. Then he offered to sell himself if the hostile part of the community chose to buy him. They consented to get him thus under their power, and handed over 30 pieces of silver. The Lord told him to hand it over to the city potter as a price at which he (Yehu) had been prized at them.

   Zechariah would not understand the prophetic import of this, but we are enabled to understand it with the life of Christ in our hand, as written by the apostles. In him did the God of Israel visit his flock with the offer of peace and union. Only the poor of the flock listened to him.

"The common people heard him gladly." "To the poor was the gospelpreached." In the course of his good shepherd work, he was opposed by the bad shepherds, whom, with his tongue, he cut off in condemnation, saying that upon that generation would come the heaped-up wrath of God (Luke 11:47-51, Matt. 23:32-39). In three years and a half, he ceased his work and left Israel's house to desolation (Luke 13:35). He then virtually offered himself to death at their hands, refusing to exercise the power of escape that he possessed, and laying down his life which, as he said, so man took from him against his will. The price paid to get him was 30 pieces of silver – paid to Judas, at that time a member of Christ's body, and therefore, in a sense paid to himself. This was the price put upon the head of Israel's God in being put upon Jesus His Son, who said, "He that despiseth me despiseth Him that sent me."

   It stands out clearly as the most extra ordinary transaction in the world's confirmed history, that God should have been valued at 30 pieces of silver –" the goodly price which I was prized at of them." It will stand out in the endless history of glory to come.

   Zechariah would not discern the enigma: the direction to "cast the money to the potter. As a fact, the anti-typical purchase money would be denied admission to the treasury of the bad shepherds, and to be appropriated in a way to mark its extraordinary character. It was to be used in buying a field of death and dishonour – a place to bury the disowned of mankind – Aceldama, of which all the world has heard – and which is a household word in every town and city in Christendom to this day. A terrible type there was in this: the transaction, which the money represented, has purchased for Israel ages of blood and suffering and death in the land of strangers. The land of the Gentiles has been a land of burial for Israel to this day.

   The Jews, as a nation, did not discern the nature of the things that happened to Christ in all these particulars but the "poor of the flock" – (the disciples whom Jesus addressed as "Blessed ye poor") knew that it was the word of the Lord. Then followed the breaking of all bands in Israel's house. Brotherhood between Israel and Judah implied their separate existence as political systems; for men must be men to be brothers; and nations must be nations to be brother nations. But since the calamity that befell Israel's race 40 years after the paying of the 30 pieces of silver, there has been no nationality for any section of them. The second staff has been broken, and the land has been under the jurisdiction, first, of the false and ferocious shepherd of Christendom, and then of the Destroyer from the Mohammedans Pit.  But the days of darkness are near their end. The foolish shepherd's arm is about to be "clean dried up," and his "right eye utterly darkened." And Yehu's glory is about to appear in true and beneficent shepherd-manifestation. "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom and shall gently lead those that are so young," (Isa. 40:10 & 11).

 

If none but the good fish came into the net, if none but faithful men and women responded to the call, things would be too sweet and smooth among believers. There would be no trial of the patience, which shows itself in the perseverance in duty under bitter circumstances.

Robert Roberts

   

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The Parable of the Unjust Steward -- (Luke 16:1-13).

Written by Roy Staley. Posted in Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

1          And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

2          And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

3          Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

4          I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

5          So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?

6          And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

7          Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

8          And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

9          And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

10         He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11         If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

12         And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?

13         No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

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Lot's Children

Written by Roy Staley. Posted in Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

In Genesis chapter eighteen, we read that after Abraham was told by God that He was going down to Sodom and Armorah (Gomorrah) to see and destroy those places that Abraham pleaded with God: “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (v’s. 23 to 25). And God said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes,” (v.26).

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Churches Together

Written by Peter Reekie. Posted in Articles Expounding Biblical Subjects

Churches Together is an Article brought to you by the Brethren of Christ proving why and how Chuches will come together as prophesied.

The churches may be coming together, (Isa. 47:8; Rev. 18:7), but it's only in error. You may know where your church meets and what is said, but do you know what the Bible teaches?

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