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Monday, June 27, 2011

A Study in Colossians (Part 3)


…A Study in Colossians…
…Part Three…


“…If…”
  Our journey through Colossians continues here in Chapter Three.  I use the dramatics of the large “if” for a reason.  I have noted earlier in the preface of Chapter Two that I value the teaching of Dr. McGee.  But I don’t necessarily agree with all that he teaches.  This is not a bad thing.  We’ve all heard the saying “…just pick out the meat and spit out the bones…”  There are a lot of teachers out there, some good, some bad, some, just okay.  Speaking for myself, I’ll let the Holy Spirit and your own studies judge my place; if there is any meat to what I say, chew it up.  If there are any bones, spit them out.  The point is, you might not agree with all I say either; what matters is, does what I say, or what any teacher says, line up with the words of G-d?  That is the test we, as teachers and ministers, must ultimately pass.  If the doctrine or “theology” that we speak of lines up with G-d’s words, then the nuts and bolts of how we arrived at what we hold true becomes minor matters of differences of perception, and these  differences are usually formed by the sum of our lives.  Let’s face it; there is no such thing as an objective person.  We all have biases that will reveal themselves, no matter what.  I hope, no, I pray, that my own are constrained by the Holy Spirit, and that if I err, it is toward a zealousness for G-d’s word, and His truth, and not my own leanings.  Now, what does this have to do with “if”?  “If” is used in two situations; as a condition, or as an argument.  How “if” is used is the point of disagreement between myself and Dr. McGee.  The if of argument says that something was, if something else is true;  the if of conditionality says that something shall be if something else is true.  This seems like a small difference, and maybe in truth it is.  But as we saw in Col. 1:23, ( [KJV]  23If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; [1]) defining if as the argument “since” subtly changes the admonishment of Paul.  Context must define how the word is used.  Here, I believe, this little word “if” carries with it such powerful meanings.  I truly believe that Paul intended it to be used in the conditional sense.  Below is the Strong’s definition, and additional examples to look at:

G1487   εἰ ei  I a primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.:--forasmuch as, if, that, (al-)though, whether. Often used in connection or composition with other particles, especially as in G1489, G1490, G1499, G1508, G1509, G1512, G1513, G1536, G1537. See also G1437.[2]

“If” is conditional.  This means that the clause after the “if” carries with it an action to be done if the former clause is true.  The last two chapters of Paul’s epistle to the Colossians are the practical section of Paul’s instructions to the Colossian ekkelesia: a close look at any of Paul’s epistles will reveal that this is a standard theme throughout them all; doctrinal first, then the practical, the “how” to apply the doctrine to our lives.  Before we go on with our examination of verse 1, we need to examine what it is we are to apply.  The theme in Chapters One and Two was to firmly establish in the Colossians (and our) minds that Christ is preeminent.  He is “IAM”, and also a member of the Trinity.  He is “very man of very man, but very God of very God”. [3]  He is the Creator, our Redeemer, the firstborn of G-d, preeminent in the ekkelesia because He gave Himself for the ekkelesia.  Christ Jesus is all in all, He is preeminent.  (Have I repeated that enough yet?)  Now, Paul presents Him as He is to be, and that is the preeminent one in our life, in our heart.  Brethren, you must ask yourself, is Christ preeminent in my life today?  Is Christ the one proteuo (prote-yoo'-o), the one first in your life?  “…For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the G-dhead bodily…”  My beloved, if you claim Him as your Savior, you’d better be living out His life here on this earth, and not your own.  We can’t claim Him if He isn’t first, why, we’d be making liars out of ourselves.  Singing praises and hollerin’ “Amens” on Sunday don’t make us Christians, especially if we live like Hell the rest of the week.  No, if Christ is preeminent in our lives, it’ll show, for we will be living this verse:

Galatians 2:20 (1901 ASV) I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. [4]
 
We won’t be worried about the bills, the house, the price of gas. We won’t be troubled by wars and rumors of wars.  We won’t be concerned about who the next President of the United States is, because Christ will be preeminent and He is on the throne!  What worries can topple the hope that lives on the throne of G-d? What can a man do to this nation, that G-d hasn’t already made plans for?  Whether judgement or blessing comes, what matters it, as long as Christ is first in our lives?  Paul has already warned us of what to watch out for.  We are to beware of enticing words, philosophy, legality, mysticism and asceticism.  Beware he says of all that can lead us from the person of Christ!  And make no mistake, it is Christ we must be in love with, not His work, not His ekkelesia, not His blessings, not His healings, not His ministers, nothing must be before Him!  In Christ Jesus we have all we need.  If I’m poor and live in a cardboard box, but have Christ first, I have more than Bill Gates.  If I’m sick, but Christ rules in my life, I have nothing to fear, for what can pull me from His hands?  If all I have is one page of the Bible, or just one song in my heart, then I have the wisdom of G-d and a song heard louder in Heaven than the ones sung by the Host of Heaven.  If I’m hungry, the Bread of Life will fill me, and if life leaves this tent I wear, what does it matter, for the life I’ll step into with the Son of Man will be more glorious than I could ever dream or imagine.  Can you handle having nothing but Christ?  If you can’t truthfully answer yes to that one question, then brethren, He isn’t preeminent in your life.  That is a hard truth, but it is truth nonetheless.  I have to close my eyes for a second, and with shaking hands and trembling knees, call out to Him, “O G-d, My Christ and Savior, help me to never let anything or anyone come before You; it isn’t worth it O Lord, it isn’t worth anything to be anywhere but at the foot of Your cross.  Only You, O Savior, Only You…”  This is my cry daily, beloved, sometimes minute by minute, for the things of this world, this mortal life weigh so heavy, the fight is so long, the struggle never seems to end, that I’m weary.  O how tired I get, brethren.  I tell you this because in my weakness, He is strong.  When you see me in my weakness, maybe you’ll find strength; in our weakness, He is kind and merciful.  But He must be preeminent; only then do we find rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)  28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [5]

On with our study…

We were talking about conditions:  let’s look at verse 20 of the previous chapter:

Colossians 2:20
20 If ye have died with Christ from the elements of the world, why as if alive in the world do ye subject yourselves to ordinances?  (1890 Darby Bible)

Paul speaks of what had transpired before (or what was supposed to have transpired before…), how Christ became our salvation, how we are not to let others cheat us, so forth and so on.  Paul then asks the question “…IF…” then “…WHY…” do we still do things that Christ has freed us from?  The “if” in Col. 3:1 is a continuation of this discussion (which by the way, in case you didn’t know, is NOT as some commentators have said is “Paul’s use of Grecian logic”, but actually is Paul using the Hebrew method called “pipul” or “drawing out” or “reasoning together” the lessons and studies that stem from G-d’s Holy Word…).  “…IF then you were raised with Christ, [now what we must do “if” the “if” is true], seek out those things which are above…”  Dr. McGee bases his reading of the word if on the fact that Paul speaks of the Colossians faith as being a done deal, that the evidence of their lives being grounded in Christ is well known, “…Since we heard of your faith in Jesus Christ…”  As is all things in G-d’s word, the answer to this must be, “Yes, I agree” and “But…”  Brethren, I do not doubt for one moment, the sincerity of those who read this humble epistle of mine. Some of you I know, maybe others I don’t.  What is any different in the way that I approach you, and the way Paul approached the Colossians? I have raised questions to you that I want you to ponder; if you are Christ’s, you ask, why would I want you to consider these things?  Would they not be moot points, much like  “preaching to the choir”? I ask questions that may seem critical to some of you, or maybe seem offensive. You might ask “Well, who is he to question me or my faith?”  The point is to get you out of your comfort zone and not allow you to sit on your laurels, to get you to think deeper than you’ve done so in the past. Some of you (and I know even myself) need to be shook up once in a while, to see the need for self-examination.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NABWRNT)
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, of course, you fail the test. [6]

Now, I’m going to take a chance here, and this may be where I lose some of you.  I was just listening to the radio on my way home from work, and a very interesting conversation was taking place.  A man had called the talk show and was asking for help for his personal problem; he called it a “hate” problem, along with the other trouble he had, which was (forgive me for being blunt) a sexual “addiction”.  The host tried to explain to him that the root, the core of his problem wasn’t the “hate” or the “addiction”; it was a spiritual problem that only G-d could fix.  Now the caller interrupted and started in on one of these “Yeah, but…”; the host stopped him and said a very telling thing; he said to the caller “Yes I understand that you love your sex and your anger more than you love G-d…” 

My friends, how many of us can substitute our little secrets into this statement?
“Yes I understand that you love (Fill in the BLANK) more than you love G-d…”
This is what Paul’s epistle is about; this is what this study is about.  I can’t say it enough my friends, It has to be all about Jesus Christ.  In the past two and a half years that G-d has had a hold of me, this is the message that He insists I teach and preach.  I cannot get away from it.  Everything I do revolves around this one message: Christ is all.  At times I know that I seem like a broken record, skipping back to the same song over and over again, but beloved, DO you LOVE anything more than you love G-d?  Now, think hard, for this may be the most important question you’ll ever be asked. In fact, I’ll go so far to say, your eternal salvation rests upon it.  If Christ is not preeminent in your life, if He does not rule so far above anything and anyone, my friend, you are in trouble.  (And don’t ever forget, that what I say to you, I apply to myself…)  We are in the little season folks.  “What little season?” you ask…

Revelation 20:1-3 (NABWRNT)
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
2 He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years
3 and threw it into the abyss*, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time. [7]

Revelation 20:1-3 (KJV)
1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold on the dragon**, that old serpent**, which is the Devil, and Satan**, and bound him a thousand years, 3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. [8]

We are in a time unparalleled in human history.  What we’ve been taught about how the end is to come is being shown for what it is, man’s misinterpretation of G-d’s word.  That being said, I have to say that is a subject for a different day, a different study.  Our focus here and now is Christ, and Him alone.  What we are facing in this little season, as satan goes about roaring like a lion, watching for whom he might devour, can only be gotten through by holding on to Jesus Christ alone.  O brethren, I know I repeat myself over and over again, but can’t you feel the urgency of this moment? You aren’t reading or hearing this by mistake; G-d has chosen for you to bear witness to this truth, that if your house isn’t built upon the Rock, then disaster will befall you and the ones you love!  For 2½ years I’ve spoken this same message and the urgency keeps growing and growing within my soul.  This is why this study now, for there isn’t a better epistle of Paul’s to sink our teeth into and get us a plate full of meat; my beloved, it is time you chewed on some meat, and quit drinking milk.  Your soul is in need of nourishment, the type that only the meat of G-d’s word can provide.  Easy Christianity is lazy Christianity, and slothfulness toward G-d’s truth will cost you, beloved, it’ll cost you your life.  If I’m preachin’, so be it, ‘cause you have to hear it.  O join me on the rug brethren, prostrate yourselves with me before the Mercy Seat of G-d and let’s ask Christ to forgive us for our haughty ways, for our pride and arrogance.  We’ve been comfortable for so long, the dust has piled so high and deep upon our Bibles, the songs we sing are to please ourselves and not Him that sits on the throne.  We have our favorite Christian “artists”, the weekly countdown of “praise and worship” greats, all leading up to the “number one hit on the charts”, yet the real Number One is hardly mentioned at all.  We love being in love with Christ; what ever happened to our closet, that secret place where only G-d and you go?  He who sees all secrets, hears you in the secret place of your heart; what message do you send Him?  Do you cry out in godly sorrow for the wrongs of the day, bringing meet for repentance, or do you brush Him aside with your two minute drill of prayer?  Do the Psalms go forth from your lips like hymns, or is it just that catchy little tune you heard on the radio?  Do the Olympics or politics or the latest gossip magazines occupy your time, or does the Holy Word of the Living G-d take precedence in your everyday life?  “Oh, but nobody can read the Bible every day! You’ve got to have time for yourself!”  Eternity in Hell is a long time to be wishing that you had put G-d first in your life my friends; “…Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of G-d” (Rom. 10:17) and:

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. [9]

Can you see yet, O ekkelesia, that we must shake off our love of all external things, we must put off our love affair of being in love with Christ and simply be in love with Him.  The world as we know it is going to get shook, and upon the Rock will be the only place safe left to stand. 

Colossians 3:2
2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. [10]

These are what we must set are minds upon, our “affections” as the King James says.  What are those “things that are above”?

Philippians 2:1-9 (1901 ASV)

If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, 2make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; 4not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 5Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; [11]

Philippians 4:4-9 (1901 ASV)

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you. [12]

We see what manner of people we should be in this late season.  So brethren, I exhort you, I encourage you, place Him first…  Notice that Paul doesn’t say seek out the latest book by Preacher Billy Joe Bob, or go out and buy the Prophetess Julie Ann’s book.  He doesn’t say to us pay a love offering to attend the next pseudopsychology-with-a-little-bible-thrown-in conference.  These things are killing Christians: crippled, sick people that are going to church, seeking help, and getting teachings that they think will solve all their problems in life.  They go out armed with the latest tapes and books and check sheets, go home and spread them out over the kitchen table, and then wonder why the problems are still there, why they won’t go away.  Sick people are telling other sick people how to perform brain surgery, and my friends, somebody better have good malpractice insurance on judgement day, for the Lord is gonna demand an explanation of why His sheep were scattered by man’s doctrines.  I say to you that only in the Word of G-d is there life, it doesn’t come from the tele-evangelist, it doesn’t come from mega-church preachers, it doesn’t come from little old teachers such as myself, it only comes from Christ and His word.  My only reason to teach from G-d’s Word is that you get to know and hear of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that His word be planted within you, so that you might be quickened by the Holy Spirit and you and I will worship together by the crystal sea at the throne of G-d. O happy day that will be, my beloved.  For what greater purpose can a man have than to be allowed the privilege to tell another about Christ Jesus?  I can think of none, O none.  Paul tells us to “seek those things that are above”.  Well, good advice, for Jesus told us the same thing:

Luke 12:29-31 (KJV)

29And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neitherb be ye of doubtful mind. 30For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. [13]

Matthew 7:6-8 (KJV)

6Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. [14]

Colossians 3:3 (NLT)

For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. [15]

Do you believe this o beloved of Christ?  We died with Him upon that cross over 1900 years ago.  For He foreknew us, He predestined us to be His, so our names were on His mind on that dark day on Calvary.  By the baptism of blood and the Holy Spirit we are born again, released from the curse of Adam and placed into the bosom of Christ.  We are in Christ, not of Him, but in Him.  And now that I have died with Him, and He now lives in me through His Spirit, my life is His, to do as He sees fit. Friends, we can’t afford to be carnal[16] Christians any longer
1 Corinthians 3:1-4 (DARBY)

1 And I, brethren, have not been able to speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly; as to babes in Christ. 2 I have given you milk to drink, not meat, for ye have not yet been able, nor indeed are ye yet able; 3 for ye are yet carnal. For whereas there are among you emulation and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk according to man? 4 For when one says, I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos, are ye not men? [17]

Milk is no good anymore, it is time to grow up.  We can’t walk according to man any more, o child of G-d, we have to walk as by the Spirit.  The secret to true life is to be hid in Christ, not vainly puffing ourselves up to be seen of men.  If my left hand knows what the right is doing, I must say one of them is going to be embarrassed.  If we are putting ourselves out to get the recognition of men, by showing how righteous we are, then man’s pat on the back is all we will have.  If we are schmoozin’ up to the Preacher because he knows all the “right” people, then we are sure to be lost with that crowd.  There is only one to know and that is Christ Jesus, and under my prayer shawl and in my closet is where I want to get to know Him.  I don’t want to be seen, but as one called to teach, unfortunately this role calls for me to be at least heard, but brethren, don’t hear me, hear Him.  Don’t see me, close your eyes and see Him.  It’s Him I want you to know, not David.  If I get to big for my britches, I’ll quit.  For if G-d isn’t exalted, then I’ve failed.  If Christ isn’t raised up, I’ve failed.  If the Holy Word of G-d isn’t preached, I’ve failed.  It’s gotta be Him, His fullness, His pleroma. 

Colossians 3:4 (KJV)

4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. [18]

Now, I hope you all are wearing your steel toed boots ‘cause I’m about to step on a few more toes here.  I’m only going to mention it, because the controversy that it’ll raise will only serve as a distraction to our real message.  “Well, why say something controversial at all then?”  I said it before, you have to look at the word of G-d as He wants you to see it, not as I want you to, or other teachers want you to.  G-d’s truth is G-d’s truth, amein and amein.  For all those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, this verse ought to bother you.  You need to take a look again at 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, open your hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit and really study G-d’s word.  Remember “if”?  We have the same situation here, only it’s “When” and “then”.  Folks this is important because Christ’s return is our blessed hope.  Don’t be fooled by man’s fables, trust the Word of G-d.  Christ is only going to appear again once more, in the 2nd Coming, not some super secret “sneak in and take away all the Christians”.  You can disagree with me if you want, but remember, what you believe is as important as the fact that you believe, so be sure, study the Word.  And be looking up, for our redemption draweth nigh… (For another look at the Rapture, see Appendix Three, article entitled “Dispensationalism” ) 

Colossians 3:5-11 (NABWRNT)

5 Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.
††6 Because of these the wrath of God †* is coming (upon the disobedient).
7 By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.
8 But now you must put them all away: †** anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.
9 Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices
10  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image††† of its creator.
11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, * slave, free; but Christ is all and in all. [19]
or
Colossians 3:5-11 (KJV)

5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. [20]

Now we come to where, as Dr. McGee always said, “the rubber meets the road”.  What are the two hallmarks of Christian living, or what should these two hallmarks be? 
1.      Holiness.
2.      Love.
Why does it seem that most Christians can say they “love”, yet when it comes to the point that we are to be “holy”, Christians avoid holiness like it was an evil thing.  Are we scared of it, or is it something deeper?  Paul exhorts the Colossians (and us) to “mortify” or put to death the things of the flesh.  Since the two “if’s” we mentioned earlier are true of us [ if we love Him and OBEY His commandments], “then” and “therefore” we are to lose the following:
è    Fornication
è    Uncleanness
è    Passion (inordinate affection)
è    Evil Desire
è    Covetousness, which is idolatry

Now let’s define these:
Þ     Fornication: sexual immorality
Þ     Uncleanness: impurity of thoughts, words, looks, gestures and the jokes we tell
Þ     Passion (inordinate affection):  uncontrolled passion or lust
Þ     Evil Desire (concupiscence): Let’s go to our friend Webster for this definition…
CONCUPISCENCE, n. [L., to covet or lust after, to desire or covet.] Lust; unlawful or irregular desire of sexual pleasure. In a more general sense, the coveting of carnal things, or an irregular appetite for worldly good; inclination for unlawful enjoyments.

We know even secret concupiscence to be sin.

Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. Rom 7.[21]

Þ     Covetousness, which is idolatry:  means we must always have more

The argument I’ve heard over and over about why people don’t want to have Christ rule in their lives is that they would have to lose their “personality”, that their “freedoms” would go away.  Well, let’s look at this for a moment.  In the light of the definitions above, what sort of “personality” are we talking about? Sexual sin is first on the list, followed by being “rude, crude and socially unsophisticated”.  Then we have those whose “passions” drive them to do things that they shouldn’t be doing in the first place (and when caught, they cry “I just couldn’t help myself!”).  This goes hand in hand with evil desire and the insatiable need for more: more money, more lust, more stuff.  Trapped by their own greed and desires, they live in a world that is ever spiraling out of control, in mountains of debt, chaos and sin, yet this is “freedom”.  My brethren, let me ask you some hard questions.  Do your eyes cause you trouble?  Does your mind wander toward fantasies that would make a sailor blush?  Does your appetite run for an accumulation of “things” (…”the one who dies with the most toys wins” syndrome…)?  Is the almighty dollar your G-d today?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, or even hesitated having to decide upon your answer, my friend, you don’t love Christ as much as you think you do.  He is not preeminent in your life.  What are you more interested in than the living Christ? What could you possibly find better than to serve the Savior that died for you?  Do these questions hurt my friend?  If they do, then why are your members lent to the world instead of the Holy Spirit?  All around us we see people rushing here and there.  As we drive on the freeway, men and women go about to and fro, some alone, others not.  Do you give them more than a passing thought?  How many lives are out there, searching for their “freedom” but finding only darkness and despair?  How many silent tears are shed in the privacy of those cars, in the locked stall of a washroom, in a quiet moment away from the eyes of their co-workers or families?  We see pictures of other cultures, and go “tsk, tsk” as we watch them pray to their idols that can neither see nor hear, let alone offer comfort and help, yet why are we so blind to our own idols that will leave us just as empty and without hope?  We serve gods of pleasure and find none; we serve gods of plenty and never have enough.  We serve gods of wealth and power, yet no satisfaction can ever come from something another can take away.  We serve gods of beauty and style yet the ugliness within our own souls will always transcend whatever we try to do to the outside.  We are just white-washed tombs holding the bones of dead men.  These “freedoms”, these “personality” traits mark us well my beloved as to what Paul called the

“sons of disobedience”.

Are you still working for that which the thief can steal or the moth can destroy?  Why not seek ye the kingdom of G-d and His righteousness first, and let Him that loves you provide the rest?  Look for what comes from above my friend, it is the only real thing that satisfies and lasts.

Now, look again at our verses:

Colossians 3:6-7 (1901 ASV)

for which things’ sake cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience: 7wherein ye also once walked, when ye lived in these things; [22]

“…for which things…”  We have all walked as “sons of disobedience”, “…when we lived in these things…”  These things Paul mentioned above, we did, but Praise Him, the Good and Merciful Most Holy G-d, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we don’t have to walk that way anymore.  Now to those who are afraid of being holy, or who want to preserve their “personalities” and their “freedoms” (and yes “Christians” are included in this list…), let me be very honest with you.  The scale of G-d’s justice is always balanced.  On one side are just two simple truths; obedience to His word, and belief in His Son.  On the other side, man heaps his excuses, his justifications, his pleadings, his lusts and sins.  My friends, say what you will, do what you will.  The scales will always tip toward the two truths, and whoever isn’t on that side of the scale will be lost.  Dr. McGee puts it very simply:  “Men are not lost simply because they do these things, neither are they lost because they haven’t heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Men are lost because they are sinners, sinners in their hearts.  And because they are sinners, they do these things.” [23]

And what else do we find as traits of “personality” and “freedom”?

è    Anger
è    Wrath
è    Malice
è    Blasphemy
è    Filthy Language out of our mouths

My brethren, do these need to be defined?  We all know what they are.  Maybe just a little clarification, but we really don’t need to go into these attitudes.  Just know this: I will share with you what my blessed mother told me once, and you know, I have never seen it disproved.  She told me “Hate destroys the vessel it is contained within more than the vessel it is aimed at.”  Now, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me using her testimony here.  If anyone had a reason to hate, it would have been my mother.  As a young girl growing up in the depression, she knew what hard times were.  So hard in fact, that her mother, my grandmother, turned to prostitution, and expected her daughters to do the same.  My grandfather worked, but it was hard to make ends meet, so I guess he condoned this behavior, but it drove him into the arms of alcoholism.  My aunt, G-d rest her soul, followed her mother, but mom refused, and was severely mistreated as a result.  In fact, the relationship with my grandmother was strained for the rest of her life.  My mother was never treated well by Grandma, but no matter how bad it got, Mom was always there, loving her till the end.  Grandpa died from his alcoholism, something that Mom had to really fight against hating her mother for.  That is why she said what she did.  It had been an especially trying visit with Grandma one month, and everything hateful that my grandmother could say or throw at my mother, she did.  Mom bore it all, with grace and kindness, but you could tell her heart was breaking.  After we had left, when we were alone, I asked her why she put up with it.  “She’s my mom” was her answer.  Then she told me it wasn’t right to hate, and then she gave me her advice.  My friends, that is what wrath is, a hateful, unforgiving spirit.  Mom could have had malice, a simmering, brewing soup of unrepentant (some today would say a “righteous”) anger.  She could have blasphemed G-d for the years of abuse, either blaming Him or going against His commandment of “Honor thy father and mother”, yet it was her faith that held her together.  She could have cursed, but that would have been outside her character.  Now Mom had her faults, but I saw my first glimpse of Jesus through her life.  You see, it all depends upon who is preeminent in our lives, how we will respond to the adversities that we face.  When things got tough, she opened her Bible; Mom had Christ and He was enough.  She developed a habit of turning to G-d when things got out of hand.  Beloved, where do you turn?  We all fall short.  I get angry, I get offended.  Not as much as I used to do, but when I do, it doesn’t take the Holy Spirit long to bring me back to repentance.  I try hard now to always remember that I am forgiven.  When we stay focused upon just that one truth, how could we hold onto offenses, how can we foster unforgiveness?  I turn now to Him, and remember my mother’s words; hate kills me, it’s that simple.  I can’t be a child of G-d and live in these “freedoms”, I just can’t.  These are the things to put off ourselves, including:

Colossians 3:9 (1901 ASV)
lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, [24]

“lie not to one another”  Lie to who?  Other believers.  Do Christians lie to one another?  That’s like asking if there are stars in the night sky.  My friends, we all struggle.  The old man may be put off, but he is still hanging around.  We are on a journey my friends, one that will take us to the goal, being conformed to the image of G-d’s Son.  We don’t become perfect when we are born again, that is the start of our perfection, the beginning of our “being holy”.  We will make mistakes.  And we will lie.  To lie seems to be the original nature of man after the fall.  What did Adam say to G-d when He asked Him what He had done?
 Genesis 3:9-12 (NKJV)

9Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” [25]

Adam’s first instinct was to blame G-d and Eve for his sin, instead of admitting his sin and repenting, asking for forgiveness.  Lying is deeply rooted in man’s heart and we as believers are not immune from it.  All I can say now is, praise G-d that if we turn from this evil way, G-d forgives us.  As with any sin though, beware the consequence, for there is always one.  What we sow, we reap.

Colossians 3:10 (NABWRNT)

10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. [27]

*Colossians 1:15 (NABWRNT)

15 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.[28]

If we are meant to be transformed into the image of Christ, then it would do us well to understand what it is we are being transformed into.  G-d has a blueprint for each one of us.  He has followed this plan since the foundation of the world, arranging times and seasons to bring about the unique set of circumstances that brought us into this world.  For each of us, all of creation has been bent to His will so that at the right moment and place, our lives were sparked within the wombs of our mothers.  Do you understand how awesome that this fact truly is?  How G-d orchestrated the events in the lives of all our ancestors to place our parents together at the appointed time so that He could give us life.  I have to admit I tremble at this thought.  Just take a look at the genealogy of Christ in Matthew or Luke.  How He arranged all things to fulfill Scripture so that Christ was born in the line of David.  He did the same for you, my brethren.  He did the same for me.  It is a mind-boggling thing if you think it through. 

It is into this context, that we want to take another look at verses 9 and 10.

Col 3:9-10 CLV
(9)  Do no lie to one another, stripping off the old humanity together with its practices,[29]
(10)  and putting on the young, which is being renewed into recognition, to accord with the Image of the One Who creates it, [30]

I’ve highlighted the words “old humanity”, translated in the King James as the old man.  If we take a look at these words in the original, you’ll see that our English translation doesn’t give us the true sense of the words used…
“old”: G3820 παλαιός palaios
Thayer Definition:
1) old, ancient
2) no longer new, worn by use, the worse for wear, old 
Part of Speech: adjective [31]
Strong’s defines palaios as “worn out”.  We can see that Paul’s use of the word palaios was calculated to show the utter despondency of the human condition without G-d. My brothers and sisters, there was once a time I considered myself a “good” person, but was I ever living in denial.  I wasn’t even a good addict, the way I had to live. I just could not see myself as I really was; it took G-d to show me how corrupt I really was.  And just as it took G-d to reveal my sin nature to me, it took G-d to change me, for I was unable to.  Maybe it takes a visual clue sometimes to see through the smoke we surround ourselves with, so let’s list the “traits” again, those which Paul says we have put off by being “…renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…  [v. 10].  Also, we’ll compare the OLD with the NEW virtues we inherit as the “elect of G-d”.

OLD PERSONALITY
NEW PERSONALITY


“Sow”
“Sow”
Fornication
Holy and beloved
Uncleanness
Tender mercies
Passion
Kindness
Evil Desire
Humility
Covetousness, which is idolatry
Meekness
“Sons of Disobedience”
Long-suffering
Anger
Bearing one another
Wrath
Forgiving one another
Malice
Love, the bond of perfection
Blasphemy
Peace of G-d ruling our hearts
Filthy language out of our mouths
Thankfulness
Lying one to another
Salvation


“Reap”
“Reap”
“Hell Bound”
“The Elect of G-d”
“Everlasting Punishment”
“Sons and Daughters of G-d”
“Separation from G-d”
“Heirs with Christ”
“Lake of Fire”
“New Jerusalem”

Colossians 3:11-15 (NKJV)

11where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
12Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. [32]

Now we can see what it is we are being transformed into.  Which side represents “freedom” to you brethren?  Which side are you on? When Paul speaks of being renewed, what do you want to be renewed in?  When I was struggling in the world, I wanted a lot of things. What I couldn’t understand is how I was supposed to believe in an all-powerful G-d that just wouldn’t put an end to all the controversy about His existence.  All He has to do is appear as a pillar of fire in New York’s Times Square, and that’s it.  Game over.  Why, if He was so real, why didn’t He take away my hurt, my fears, my sorrow, my addictions?  I fought and struggled for 37 years.  Where was He?  I wanted my life renewed.  Trouble was, what I wanted was for all the wrong reasons.  I just couldn’t find it in me to believe in all the “stories” of the Bible, they had no connection to reality for me.  All I wanted was peace, but I wanted it on my own terms, not His.  It wasn’t till I reached the end of myself that my life was renewed.  My friends, I got my second chance when it was His image I wanted to be re-made in, not my own.  On my own, I was unable to put off the old habits and form new ones.  What I needed was Christ, praise Him forever and ever.  He is the new man I’ve put on, and by Him, the old worn out humanity I was got put off the bus.

Let us look at the passages here now, starting with verse 11. 

11where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

My beloved, what do you see when you read this passage? Do you know what Paul was speaking of here?  Ponder it a moment.  Part of being a teacher is letting you figure it out, instead of me bringing you into understanding.  What do you see?  Well, I hope you see divisions.  Let’s reword this verse a bit, okay?  (Now don’t get mad at how I do this, this is just an illustration…)
“…where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, Methodist nor Baptist, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox nor Reformed, but Christ is all and in all…”
You see, Paul was speaking of the religious divisions in His day.  Paul was saying by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Come on, G-d isn’t partial, He doesn’t show favorites; you are all the same to Him- just let Christ be all…”  What is important to note is what he says about Christ: …Christ is all and in all…”  The vast array of distinctions Paul spoke of is no different than what we see today.  Barbarians are what we would call heathens today, the Scythians were the gangsters, thugs and criminals, none were free, but were slaves to the old sin nature.  The circumcised and uncircumcised still had a heart problem, no matter what outward sign they professed, and the Greek and the Jew had their own issues.  What Christ wants is a body of believers that come together in one accord.  He doesn’t care about your background, He just cares that you believe.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ will do that you know; unite the differences in us to the common good, Jesus Himself.  We, who separate ourselves because of our differences in doctrines or methodologies or theologies, can all be united as one body in Him and for Him if we let Him!  “…where there is neither…” O what a beautiful day that will be my friend, when there is neither… just Him.

And how does this fit in with what we said was the theme of this part of Chapter Three, “holiness and love”?  Remember that we are now in the practical part of Paul’s epistle.  Main point here?  Loose the divisions people.  If I’ve died with Christ, for Christ and He is my all, what am I doing still in contention with you?  If you’ve died with Christ, for Christ and He is YOUR all, why are you contenting with me?  People, it isn’t about my interpretation of Scripture, or what I want to believe, it is about loosing my life, and hiding myself in Him.  If I am in Him, what does it matter then?  If you are in Him, then we are in the same place.  We need to let go of the religion and take hold of the Rock of our salvation.  In doing so, we begin our journey together toward holiness and love for each other as the brethren of Christ, and then these silly denominations and divisions that are killing the ekkelesia can be put off, and the new man in Christ put on.  And what does this new man consist of?  Well look at the chart again, and compare it with verse 12:

Colossians 3:12 (KJV)
12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; [33]

“…The elect of G-d…”  This subject keeps re-appearing and we will deal with it at a later time my friends, but let’s just say this:  Do you trust Christ?  You are His elect.  Are you wearing these articles that make up the garment of the new man?  You are His elect.  The elect of G-d are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, there is no argument about this. You either are or you aren’t. Your life is being renewed into the image of
G-d’s son, or it isn’t.  Folks, there is no in-between.  Being a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t lend itself to grey areas, it is a life in black or white, light or dark.  Which side of the fence do you stand on my beloved?  It truthfully is either or…  A look at your wardrobe will tell you what side you are on very quickly, and if you see yourself on the wrong side, then cry out for His mercy, repent and climb on over.  The grass is greener over here you know.

Let’s look at another verse from one of Paul’s epistles:

Galatians 5:22-24 (KJV)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affectionsb and lusts. [34]

You can see that what Paul speaks of here in verse 12 is the same thing he speaks of in Galatians, the fruit of the Spirit.  Friend, can you put on the fruit of the Spirit? When I came the end of myself and cried out to G-d to save me, it was His grace and mercy that drew me there.  I was unable to save myself, unable to even cry out to Him, so He caused it to happen.  The same is true of the fruit of the Spirit.  I’m unable to put on these righteous garments; I’m either to weak or too powerless to.  I thank G-d that He sent Christ to die for me, and then resurrected Him so that He could ascend back to the Father and send me the Holy Ghost who puts on these clothes for me.  Why, I’m a rich man, beloved!  I never could have afforded somebody to come and dress me.  A just and merciful King came along, and paid my bill in full, and then sent me a whole new wardrobe and somebody to dress me. O what a price He had to pay though, let me never forget that.  Upon me was showered kisses of joy and peace, love and mercy and forgiveness, kisses I didn’t or (in fact) could never earn.  That is Christ’s love, the kiss of pardon. 

σπλαγχνα οικτιρμων “ – “splagchnon oiktirmos”: bowels of mercies

A literal definition of this is “compassion of pity”, what we would call a heart of compassion.  Think of the world today my brothers and sisters.  How much compassion do you see today, even within the church?  The world is full of mechanical, by the book people, who deal with others coldly and impersonally.  Media types show their biases by lauding one side of the spectrum while trying to destroy the other.  Drivers engage in “road rage”.  Mothers abandon new-born children in empty fields, fathers abandon whole families. Terrorists murder in the name of their god, and governments retaliate, widening the spiral of hate and death.  In the church we sue one another, abuse the power of the pulpit, lie and steal and confuse to line the pockets, and neglect the widows and orphans.  For us to walk in the holiness towards others and Him that G-d has called us to, we are to put on the bowels of mercies, to “do to the least” as we would do for Christ.

χρηστότης – “chrestotes  (khray-stot'-ace)”: kindness

Thayer Definition:
1) moral goodness, integrity
2) benignity, kindness [35]
How much kindness do we find today?  Used to be men held open doors for ladies, let them go before them, walked with them on the curb side of the walk.  People used to help the elderly, used to visit them regularly. How much kindness is there?  How many rude people do you run across in a day?  How often are you short yourself?  Strong’s defines this word as gentleness.  This is a word that is used to describe toilet paper today, not behavior.  O how we have gotten away from the heart of G-d today my friend, so far away…  What would happen if we used a little old-fashioned kindness and gentleness today my friend?  I think that there would be a lot less stress, a lot less anger and maybe a little more compassion, don’t you think?

ταπεινοφροσύνη” – “tapeinophrosune  (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay)”: humbleness of mind

Thayer Definition:
1) the having a humble opinion of one’s self
2) a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness
3) modesty, humility, lowliness of mind[36]

Notice Thayer’s definition:  “…having a humble opinion of one’s self…”  Do you esteem yourself lower than another, my friend?  When we can do this, we can lift others up, instead of ourselves.  How much true humility is out there today, and not just false, self-serving humility?   As in all things, it is best to look at a subject when we define the terms.  Thus, how do we define humility? Let’s look:
“HUMILITY — a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God. The Greek philosophers despised humility because to them it implied inadequacy, lack of dignity, and worth-lessness. This is not the meaning of humility as defined by the Bible. Jesus is the supreme example of humility (Matt. 11:29; Mark 10:45; John 13:4–17; Phil. 2:5–8), and He is completely adequate and of infinite dignity and worth. Biblical humility is not a belittling of oneself (Matt. 6:16–18; Rom. 12:3), but an exalting or praising of others, especially God and Christ (John 3:30; Phil. 2:3). Humble people focus more on God and others than on themselves.
Biblical humility is also a recognition that by ourselves we are inadequate, without dignity and worthless. Yet, because we are created in God’s image and because believers are in Christ, we have infinite worth and dignity  [emphasis mine] (1 Cor. 4:6–7; 1 Pet. 1:18–19). True humility does not produce pride but gratitude. Since God is both our Creator and Redeemer, our existence and righteousness depend on Him (John 15:5; Acts 17:28; Eph. 2:8–10).” [37]

“True humility does not produce pride but gratitude.”  Friend, get out your steel toed boots again… What do you feel by being a “Christian”?  Do you get excited by telling folks that you are a member of that 35,000 person congregation?  Do you hold a position within the ministry you serve?  Do others look up to you, and seek your advise?  I’ve been to those churches, my friends.  You know the ones; the preacher has his timing down perfect so he can run the multitudes in and out by a set schedule.  The greeters meet you, the ushers seat you.  There is a line of “ministers” at the end of the service to pray with you at the front of the stage if you can get there. If you are really in need, why you then hope that preacher will be able to lay hands upon you, but, you’re at the back of the crowd and nobody notices you.  The “minister” never gets to you, the preacher just passes you by.  If maybe you’d have dressed a little better or come a little earlier, you might have got a better seat and been able to beat the rush towards the stage…  But, no, you were late and got seated at the back; probably it’s just as well.  You saw how they all looked at you, just before they put on the rehearsed smiles and limp handshake…  All around you they pray and praise, and greet one another, because this is the regular time they meet, and they might say hello, but they never ask if they can pray for you.  They don’t feel the hurt inside you, they can’t see the desperation in your eyes, or if they do, they hurry off somewhere else, any place but there with you. So you are once again alone in a sea of people.  After the altar call that you couldn’t get close to, it’s over.  You stumble toward the door, hearing a thousand voices, but not one speaks to you.  O beloved, this is heartbreak.  O beloved, I can’t tell you how many times I stumbled toward the doors, looking at faces that saw my hurt and then turned away.  They were proud to be at church, proud to “serve” their god, yet when confronted with a broken heart, and a chance to serve Him, they had no time.  Forget the preacher, you couldn’t get to him through his bodyguards.  They reeked of false humility, all those in attendance.  All but the broken ones; we came out the doors about the same time.  We recognized each other.  The downcast eyes, the soul-full stare, the tear stained face.  Yes, we saw one another, and just for an instant, our hearts connected.  You weren’t alone after all.  G-d is like that.  We saw, we connected, we weren’t alone.  In that brief instant, G-d gave us hope to keep trying.  But not at that church.  Didn’t really matter to them, for they had all the tithers they needed; broken souls are just a bummer, no fun to be around.  So when the time came for G-d Himself to touch this broken life, I wasn’t proud.  I was grateful.  To this day my friends I’m grateful.  He gave me what church and religion never could, He gave me worth; He gave me dignity.  Next time you attend church, look around.  Look for that one with the downcast eyes, the one struggling to make sense of it all.  Go to him or her and for just a moment, be Christ.  Love them, right there and then.  Who knows?  You might save them twenty years of pain by just being what Christ wants us all to be; holy and loving.  Then be grateful to be used by G-d; that’s humility my friend, nothing like it, nothing more satisfying than to be humble before your G-d.  You don’t have to pretend, you don’t have to be perfect, all praise and glory to Him on High.

πρᾳότης  praotes (prah-ot'-ace)” : meekness
“Meekness
MEE'KNESS, n. Softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations.

1. In an evangelical sense, humility; resignation; submission to the divine will, without murmuring or peevishness; opposed to pride, arrogance and refractoriness. Gal 5.

I beseech you by the meekness of Christ. 1 Cor 10.

Meekness is a grace which Jesus alone inculcated, and which no ancient philosopher seems to have understood or recommended.” [38]
How many of us today understand “meekness”?  Christ said to us “learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly”.   I dare say, today, we would probably call a meek person “weak”.  Yet who among us could call Jesus “weak”?  What courage, what strength, what character it took to stand up to the rich and powerful, to take on the established leaders of the Jewish religion, to drive the money changers from the temple, to endure the scourge and go to the cross!  No my friends, if only you and I had this same strength, how might Jesus be able to use us to accomplish things for the kingdom of G-d? “Quiet strength” is what I’ve heard most people say when they think of meekness.  If there was one thing our Lord wasn’t, it was quiet.  He preached the council of G-d in the markets, on the streets, from the mountains to the sea.  No, brethren, Jesus was not quiet.  He called out the religious hypocrisy of His day, He made shambles of man’s traditions to bring the truth to the people.  Do you think that He wants any less from us today?  See the notes from McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia on the preceding page.  Meekness is a state of mind, a peace, a temperament that allows our spirit to not only hear from G-d, but to be used of Him as well.  Indeed, it would suit us all well to learn of Jesus, to be “meek and lowly” just as He was.  Lord, help us all to be this strong, this “meek”…
“μακροθυμία” “makrothumia  mak-roth-oo-mee'-ah”:  longsuffering

Exodus 34:5-7 (KJV)
5And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. [39]
Now my friends, this is indeed the hallmark of our G-d.  The long-suffering of G-d is what allows sinful man one more day on this earth.  The long-suffering of G-d leads to G-d wooing the sinful man, chastening him toward repentance.  The long-suffering of G-d caused Him to come to this desperate race as Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for us, so that He might demonstrate His unquenchable love.  Before I go on, there is a personal note concerning this long-suffering I’d like to share with you.  I’ve explained before why I depart on down these “rabbit trails”.  Teaching is always best done by example, and if by my struggles you can learn something to help you through yours, then I’ve done my job.  You see, in writing this epistle, I’ve come under attack and experienced great stress.  My job (the one that G-d provides the bill money through) is under attack; I’ve even allowed this strain to shake my faith.  Before I could write anymore, this had to be dealt with.  How did I deal with it?  Why, my beloved, I doubted.  I questioned.  I scratched my head and wondered what in heaven was going on.  I thought, surely, G-d, I’ve been doing the things I was supposed to do, why all this stress?  I told G-d I had to have an answer, because I don’t understand why He was taking my family and me down this direction.  Well, brethren, I hope you can see by my train of thought where my mistake was.  G-d was long-suffering with me my friends, and lovingly gave me my answer in the form of a devotional by Charles Spurgeon:

“…When thinking of my state before God the question is not, “Am I perfect in myself before the law?” but, “Am I perfect in Christ Jesus?” That is a very different matter. We need not enquire, “Am I without sin naturally?” but, “Have I been washed in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness?” It is not “Am I in myself well pleasing to God?” but it is “Am I accepted in the Beloved?” The Christian views his evidences from the top of Sinai, and grows alarmed concerning his salvation; it were better far if he read his title by the light of Calvary. “Why,” saith he, “my faith has unbelief in it, it is not able to save me.” Suppose he had considered the object of his faith instead of his faith, then he would have said, “There is no failure in him, and therefore I am safe.” He sighs over his hope: “Ah! my hope is marred and dimmed by an anxious carefulness
about present things; how can I be accepted?” Had he regarded the ground of his hope, he would have seen that the promise of God standeth sure, and that whatever our doubts may be, the oath and promise never fail. Ah! believer, it is safer always for you to be led of the Spirit into gospel liberty than to wear legal fetters. Judge yourself at what Christ is rather than at what you are. Satan will try to mar your peace by reminding you of your sinfulness and imperfections: you can only meet his accusations by faithfully adhering to the gospel and refusing to wear the yoke of bondage…”[40]
Notice what is highlighted.  You see, even I, who has heard the message of “Christ is all”, fall short.  If not for the long-suffering of G-d, who is patient with me beyond any reasonableness, I’d still be stressed, and unable to finish this work.  O Father forgive me for forgetting what Christ is, and focusing on what I’m not.  I had to let you know beloved, that struggles are real.  We are bombarded daily with the struggles that are all around us, from the economy, the weather, crime, about wars and rumor of wars, on and on and on…  Think about how patient our Father has to be with us, how He tolerates our doubts and fears, and then gently steers us back on course.  Charles Finney says of patience:
“…Patience as a virtue must be a voluntary state of mind. It must be an attribute of love or benevolence; for all virtue, as we have seen, and as the Bible teaches, is resolvable into love or benevolence. The Greek term, ὑπομονή (upomone), so often rendered patience in the New Testament, means perseverance under trials, continuance, bearing up under afflictions or privations, steadfastness of purpose in despite of obstacles…”[41]
Further examples of G-d’s longsuffering can be seen in the following:

The Long-suffering Of God

Is part of his character
Exo_34:6; Num_14:18; Psa_86:15;
Salvation, the object of
2Pe_3:15;
Through Christ's intercession
Luk_13:8;
Should lead to repentance
Rom_2:4; 2Pe_3:9;
An encouragement to repent
Joe_2:13;
Exhibited in forgiving sins
Rom_3:25;
EXERCISED TOWARD
His people
Isa_30:18; Eze_20:17;
The wicked
Rom_9:22; 1Pe_3:20;
Plead in prayer
Jer_15:15;
Limits set to
Gen_6:3; Jer_44:22;
THE WICKED
Abuse
Ecc_8:11; Mat_24:48; Mat_24:49;
Despise
Rom_2:4;
Punished for despising
Neh_9:30; Mat_24:48-51; Rom_2:5;
Illustrated
Luk_13:6; Luk_13:9;
Exemplified
                                                                 Manasseh
2Ch_33:10-13;
Israel
Psa_78:38; Isa_48:9;
Jerusalem
Mat_23:37;
Paul
1Ti_1:16; [42]

Friends, I know times are hard, yet, can we afford to be less than our Lord?  If He is longsuffering toward us, should not this be our response, not only to others, but also to the things that seem to beset us in life?  I’ve shown you that this isn’t always the case.  Yes, we stress, yes, we get anxious.  Sometimes we get downright angry or frustrated.  Yet, Praise Almighty G-d that the mind of Christ can prevail if we allow it. We can then step back and focus on Him and not ourselves or the circumstances. O to be like Jesus, my beloved, to be like Him…

Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. [43]

Here is where our long suffering comes into play: “…bearing with one another…”  Bearing what?

“…Forbearing one another,.. Not only bearing one another's burdens, and with one another's weaknesses, but forbearing to render evil for evil, or railing for railing, or to seek revenge for affronts given, in whatsoever way, whether by words or deeds…” [44]
“complaint” μομφή momphē mom-fay'
From G3201; blame, that is, (by implication) a fault: - quarrel.

What is the common theme here?  So often do we forget who our Savior is, so often we tend to marginalize Him.  There is a fact often overlooked, or yet, maybe to be fair, so misunderstood that we miss it, or we just don’t deal with it all.  Let’s try to put it into perspective here, and I’ll admit, when it was revealed tome, I thought how do I get this concept across to others?  It would help if I had lofty words, or eloquent speech, but I don’t.  I’m just like you, someone who tries to make sense out of the greatest mystery there is.  You see, it wasn’t just Jesus the man on that cross that day, it was also G-d the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Through longsuffering, through forbearance, Christ the Son of Man held our sin, and crucified it with His own body.  Christ the Son of G-d took the quarrel, the complaint that He had in righteousness against man and as G-d, forgave man His iniquity (“Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”).  Christ as the Holy Spirit, trusting none but Himself, carried the sweet fragrance of the sacrifice to the throne of the Father (30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. [45])  O what mystery! We tend to only see the Christ on the cross, yet it was G-d, the IAM, that hung there for us!  Sweet precious Lord, my Jesus, my G-d, my Holy Spirit.  We misunderstand the cross.  We say that He became sin for us; nay, I say, He took sin back from us.  When you redeem something, you pay a price to have that object back into your possession.  A price was paid that day, blood for sin.  Not blood to become sin, but blood to take away sin.  Do you not see this my brethren?  The plan of G-d from the foundation of the world included sin!  With His omniscient mind, G-d knew all that would take place in the heavens, with lucifer’s pride; G-d knew Eve would lust for the tree of knowledge, and Adam would partake and try to lay the blame on G-d Himself.  The Father knew what evil was, what it would cost, and how could He not?  He created it and grew it on a tree in Eden.  It just didn’t appear by itself.  The knowledge of good and evil came from G-d.  This is what was redeemed at Calvary.  This is what was shed on that execution stake, that tree.  From a tree was the knowledge of good and evil taken; from a tree was it brought back into the hands of G-d.  When it was taken from Eden, it became what it was; sin and darkness.  When it was redeemed at Golgotha, it was taken from the realm of darkness, and light held the keys once more.  (…7And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. …)[46]  Death is evil; the fear of it has plagued mankind since the fall.  All sin and disobedience hail from this fear, and all variations of iniquity rise from it’s heap, as man struggles to grasp its implications and hide from its consequences.  We all instinctively know that this mortal coil is not all there is; that is why we run to and fro looking for something to keep this fear at bay, to grasp at the man-made imaginations
to hope for a better life in the void after this one.  The Triune G-d hung on that tree, He was buried in the tomb and by the power that He is, rose again.  We want to separate the Three, we want to say each has His own office, His own mission.  But, when They/He created the heavens and earth, each was there:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.[47]
Genesis 1:3-4 (1901 ASV)
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. [48]

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2‍The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4‍In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [49]

26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.[50]

You see it now?  O brethren!  He never was forsaken! He bought us back with His Blood!  The Blood of the Triune G-d flowed that Day of Grace!  Yes Grace! It wasn’t a day of Shame as some have called it, it was Grace!  In all things He was G-d! Even in death, He was G-d!  He said over and over again:

John 10:30 (KJV)
30 I and my Father are one. [51]

John 10:36-38 (NLT)
why do you call it blasphemy when the Holy One who was sent into the world by the Father says, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in what I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will realize that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.[52]

John 14:9-11 (CEV)
9 Jesus replied:
Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10 Don’t you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.
11 Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. [53]

Jesus could not separate Himself from the Father.  The sinless One did not become sin for us, He took it back for us.  He took it from us.  O yes, we can still sin, He didn’t remove us from this world, but He did set us apart.  He separated us by His election of grace and in us was born the faith to walk out this great salvation with fear and trembling.  Not the fear the world has, fear that paralyzes, fear that robs; but the reverent fear and awe of an Almighty G-d, that holds us with His wonder and love.  Say what you will, believe what you want, but I tell you, there never was a separation of the Triune
G-d; He was and is and always will be Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and for us who believe, when we grasp this mystery, then what took place at Calvary is even more majestic than we ever imagined. 

Figure 1.[54]

For He was not made sin, as we have been taught, but was made an offering for us.  He could not have been made sin for then He would have been blemished, and with spot, unsuitable to be the Lamb of G-d; but since He was pure and blameless, without blemish, He could be offered.  G-d didn’t turn away from Him; He accepted the sacrifice, for it was a sweet smell in His nostrils.  O the wonder of G-d sacrificing Himself; O that the Father also suffered the lash, the beating, the cursing, the cross; O that the Holy Spirit felt the whip, the pain of nails through the flesh; O that the Son of G-d and Man agonized in the hands of sinful men, all to redeem what we had stolen from His tree in Eden.  He had the power just to take it back, it was His after all, yet this is what He choose.  To suffer, to bleed, to die, all so that He could rise again and at last complete the plan.  He said it was finished.  My friend, is it finished with you?  Is Christ all?  Is He preeminent?  You see, it isn’t just Him, it’s G-d.  G-d the Son, G-d the Father, G-d the Spirit. He forgave, can you do any less?  Do you have a quarrel today with anyone?  Forgive, as Christ forgave.  Don’t forget that there are some who don’t want your’s or G-d’s forgiveness, that these won’t reconcile themselves to G-d, for G-d won’t call them to.  He knows their heart.  That doesn’t affect us though, since we are to forgive all.  That’s all we can do my beloved, is forgive all we meet, or deal with.  It isn’t our job to judge.  Let’s let G-d do that. 

Colossians 3:14-15 (1901 ASV)
and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful. [55]

Love and peace? Where have we seen that before?

Galatians 5:22-24 (KJV)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affectionsb and lusts. [56]

Over and over we see that what we are to be, what we are to put on is the fruit of the Spirit.  Paul says “…above all these things put on love…”  Christian, we are told all the time that we are to love.  Our preachers and teachers tell us this always.  Yet, do any truly understand this “love”?

Love
LOVE, v.t. luv. [L. libeo, lubeo. See Lief. The sense is probably to be prompt, free, willing, from leaning, advancing, or drawing forward.]
1. In a general sense to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification. We love a friend, on account of some qualities which give us pleasure in his society. We love a man who has done us a favor; in which case, gratitude enters into the composition of our affection. We love our parents and our children, on account of their connection with us, and on account of many qualities which please us. We love to retire to a cool shade in summer. We love a warm room in winter. we love to hear an eloquent advocate. The christian loves his Bible. In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual; and if our hearts are right, we love God above all things, as the sum of all excellence and all the attributes which can communicate happiness to intelligent beings. In other words, the christian loves God with the love of complacency in his attributes, the love of benevolence towards the interest of his kingdom, and the love of gratitude for favors received.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind -
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Mat 22.

2. To have benevolence or good will for. John 3.

LOVE, n.
1. An affection of the mind excited by beauty and worth of any kind, or by the qualities of an object which communicate pleasure, sensual or intellectual. It is opposed to hatred. Love between the sexes, is a compound affection, consisting of esteem, benevolence, and animal desire. Love is excited by pleasing qualities of any kind, as by kindness, benevolence, charity, and by the qualities which render social intercourse agreeable. In the latter case, love is ardent friendship, or a strong attachment springing from good will and esteem, and the pleasure derived from the company, civilities and kindness of others.
Between certain natural relatives, love seems to be in some cases instinctive. Such is the love of a mother for her child, which manifests itself toward an infant, before any particular qualities in the child are unfolded. This affection is apparently as strong in irrational animals as in human beings.
We speak of the love of amusements, the love of books, the love of money, and the love of whatever contributes to our pleasure or supposed profit.
The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of his attributes or excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and a fear of offending him is its inseparable effect.

2. Courtship; chiefly in the phrase, to make love, that is, to court; to woo; to solicit union in marriage.
3. Patriotism; the attachment one has to his native land; as the love of country.
4. Benevolence; good will.
God is love. 1 John 4.
5. The object beloved.
The lover and the love of human kind.
6. A word of endearment.
Trust me, love.
7. Picturesque representation of love.
Such was his form as painters, when they show their utmost art, on naked loves bestow.
8. Lewdness.
He is not lolling on a lewd love-bed.
9. A thin silk stuff. Obs.
Love in idleness, a kind of violet.
Free of love, a plant of the genus Cercis. [57]

This love is at first glance something born from an emotional basis, but ἀγάπη (agapē - ag-ah'-pay) is so much more.  It is born of a decision.  Do you think about the Kingdom of G-d beloved?  We serve a mighty King you know.  We are not citizens of America or “the world” as a politician recently said.  No, our citizenship is deeper than anything so mundane as that of a country or a community, even if that community is global.  My friends, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, that exists in our hearts and in the Spiritual Realm.  We serve a King, mighty, Holy, Benevolent, full of Glory, mercy and grace.  Just is He in His dealings, Righteous is this Living G-d.  He is:

Elohim ------------ G-d - The One and Only True G-d
YHWH:-------------L-RD - He that is who He is, The eternal I AM
Adonai:------------ L-rd - Master
El Shaddai -------G-d Almighty - The All-sufficient One
El Elyon -----------Most High - Possessor of heaven and earth
El Olam ------------Everlasting G-d – G-d over eternal things
El Gibbor ----------Mighty G-d - The Only All Powerful G-d
YHWH Jireh ------The L-RD will provide
YHWH Rapha ----The L-RD who healeth
YHWH Nissi -------The L-RD is my banner, The L-RD is my victory
YHWH Shalom ----The L-RD our peace, The L-RD gives peace
YHWH Tsidkenu --The L-RD Our Righteousness
YHWH Shammah --The L-RD is present
YHWH Sabaoth --The LORD of Hosts, LORD Almighty, King of Glory




Figure 2.[58]

Yehusa Ha’Mashiach---G-d Saves, The Anointed one
Ruach HaKodesh---The Holy Spirit of G-d

This is who we serve.  Many more names has He, the One who sits on the Throne.  We “agape” Him when we obey Him, we serve Him because of the mercy He shows us, for the agape He has for us.  Because of who He is, we love, not for what He does, but for what He did.  We are not of this world, this life.  The peace of Him governs our hearts, and the thought of hurting Him, the reason we hold to His precious word.  Brethren, do you serve Him, by serving the body?  Are you thankful for one another, for the wonderful differences G-d built into each one of us?  Does the thought of pleasing Him, of finding ways to bless His heart fill your days?  Then you know Him, and you are His subject in His Kingdom.  If not, then stop what you are doing, and seek His Kingdom, seek out that spot where it is just you and Him, and find out what it is He wants you to do, so you can know the joy of blessing G-d.  He is a mighty G-d, this One we serve, and what an honor it is to be called His child, His friend…

Colossians 3:16-17 (KJV)
16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. [59]

There exists in the texts of Jewish writings a saying:
כל מקום שהתורה שם שבינה שם עמה; “…In whatever place the Law is, there the Sh’kninah is present with it…” [60]
We find that:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
4 Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: 5 and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; 7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates. [61]

Proverbs 3:1-3 (The Living Bible)
     
My son, never forget the things I’ve taught you. If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions. 3Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. [62]

Proverbs 7:1-4 (KJV)
1My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. 4Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: [63]
O brethren, what if we truly let the Word live in our hearts today?  What would be the state of this nation if just 12 modern day disciples would let the Living G-d and Christ dwell within them in all wisdom? If the law of G-d would manifest itself in the hearts of this 12, would not the Sh’kninah glory of G-d be there also, and might that just stir up the pot a bit!  You know, today there are believers, and then there are BELIEVERS.  It is the latter we need today.  BELIEVERS.  Those that believe large, those that trust completely, those that will sell all to follow Him.  Those that the new song comes too, those that sing and pray the psalms, the ones that read the psalms with the image of our L-rd on that cross in their minds and hearts.  We need 12 that aren’t afraid of telling the believers the truth of the Word, just as G-d had intended the message to be spread.  All this done in the name of the L-rd Yeshua, giving thanks to Elohim and ABBA by Him and for Him.  If twelve exist today, what would it take to get them together?  Think about it my friend: One changed the world, twelve turned it right side up and the powers of darkness have been scrambling ever since to turn it upside down ever since.  We need twelve to stand today and take hold of the Word of life and resist this momentum that seems to be tipping the balance scales in favor of those that love darkness and the evil thereof.  By the washing of the word, by the cleansing of the blood; this is what will ultimately keep those scales dipped toward the things of G-d.  O but for a new awakening in the hearts of G-d’s people.  Are you one of the twelve?  Are you ready?  Can you do all things unto the L-rd, for Him, at home, work or play?  Will you give thanks to Him in the sunshine and through the pain?  Will you lay down your life for Him?
 All this has to do with the holiness that G-d has called us to live in, the holiness all of us must be striving for in our walk.  Holiness and love were the mark of the twelve.  Holiness and love was Jesus Christ.  If this holiness dwels within you, then there is no way that your home, your work will not change because of it, for

“…In whatever place the Law is, there the Sh’kninah is present with it…”

Colossians 3:18-251 (1901 ASV)

Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord. 21Fathers, provoke not your children, that they be not discouraged. 22Servants, obey in all things them that are your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord: 23whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; 24knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ.. [64]

Our new hearts and minds that are renewed in the image of Jesus Christ will affect all we do, as husbands and wives, as employees and employers, as parents to our children… all will change.  Do you live in the old personality still, or have you moved to the new?  Now let’s see how we are all to live by the standards set down in G-d’s word.
Husbands, wives in subjection to you does not mean you have the right to be domineering or abusive.  If you fit this description, no matter the degree, small or large, you my friend are going against the L-rd and you need to change.  It means that wives are to let you assume the role of priest within your family, and that role involves you being a servant to them.  As the head of your family, you are to love them as Christ loves His ekkelesia.  For you to do any less means you have some work to do my friend.  Don’t think for one minute if you don’t exhibit Christ’s love for your wife that she is going to submit to you.
Children, now you have one of the first promises in the Word of G-d that applies to you.  In the law it is said:
Exodus 20:12 (1901 ASV)
Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee. [65]
Paul expounds this by telling you to “obey” them as well.  There will come a time when you will cut the strings that bind you to them and live your own life.  But children, I don’t care if you are two, twenty-two or a hundred and two, there is one string you cannot cut, and that is the one that tethers you to your Heavenly Father.  O for sure, once you’ve tasted what is good, because He has set you free, you could decide to turn and walk away from the One who loves you, but what on earth could cause you to do such a foolish thing?  He is the one parent we can’t do without.  Our earthly parents, well, He fully intended that one day we would depart from them, but children, when they are old, don’t forget them.  It is in that time that “honor” comes into play, and the L-rd will bless you on that day. 
            Fathers, don’t provoke your children.  The word for “provoke” comes from the word “eris”  (er'-is) meaning  a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling:--contention, debate, strife, variance.  Now, if you were anything like myself, you’ve already blown this one.  (Thank G-d He forgives. ) We aren’t supposed to be dictators, dads, but we aren’t supposed to be push-overs either.  “Train up a child in the way he should go…” This takes work and long-suffering.  Just ask G-d, He’ll tell you.
            Masters and servants, don’t ever forget you serve G-d first.  If you work as unto Him, you’ll always deal fairly with those that you work for, and those that work under you.  If we work as “man-pleasers”, then what is our reward in that?  If we just give “eye service”, that is the appearance of doing a good job yet not putting our heart into it, then we in essence are made to be liars, and we all know, no lie is of the truth.  How can G-d trust us to be a minister of light if we don’t give honestly of out time and efforts in our jobs?  The ethics of G-d extend into the work place brethren; we sometimes forget that the world is watching us, watching us to see if we truly live out the life of a believer in all we say and do.  The best witness we have is how we deal with the unsaved in our work environments.  By our actions Christ is either lifted up and magnified, or we cause His name to be vilified.  Do you steal the “sweet and low”?  By that I mean do you do things against G-d’s laws at work, that you wouldn’t want your pastor to see you do?  Then why do something you KNOW G-d sees?  May I be frank?  Lazy on the job means you aren’t dedicated to Jesus Christ.  We serve Him, in all we do.  That is it in a nutshell.  Half measure here, half there, avails nothing in the kingdom. “…in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord: whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ…”  Fearing the L-rd means we respect G-d, and keep His word by dealing in honesty and holiness with those around us.  Ye serve Jesus Christ, not man.
           
We come to the end of Chapter Three with a warning:

25For he that doeth wrong shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Pastor, preacher, apostle, healer, sinner: it doesn’t matter.  “…he that hath done wrong…” will reap what he sows, for with G-d there is no partiality.  Sober words that should give us pause in how we deal with G-d and one another.  Too many church members out there do wrong to one another; to many “christians” live still in the old personality.  Too many congregations scorn and rebuke the Holy writ of Scripture in favor of what “tickles” their ears and “justifies” their social (i.e. “world-view”) dealings.  As in the words “As you were taught”, there is power and authority in the words “there is no partiality”; G-d is not mocked.  We are to humble ourselves Christians.  Only those holdingon to, abiding in and obeying G-d’s word will escape the storm that is only minutes away, and for some, just a lone heartbeat…
My friends, if we don’t act upon our lives, and present ourselves as living sacrifices unto Him, He’ll do it for us, and that, believe me, is the painful way to go.  Stop for a minute and think about the honor laid out in front of you, the honor of being givien the chance to serve the Living G-d.  My, that excites me!  What I must do is just realize I am unable to do this in my strength, but He provides me with all I need to serve Him.  I just have to make myself available.  Holy and blameless, that is what He’ll make me.  Filled with His love, and making Him the preemminent One in my life, I’ll be ready to serve.  O join me Christian, walk with me.  It’ll be okay if we stumble, He’s there to catch us.  Let’s join with ten others and offer to Him 12 souls ready to do His will.  Why, to whom else will we go?  We know He is the Christ, the Son of the Living G-d and His words are life eternal.  To whom else could we go?  We just have to listen for His voice, He is calling us.  Till we come together again my beloved, may the Most Gracious Loving High G-d richly bless you and keep you, Amein and Amein.













































…APPENDIX THREE…

Authors Note:  I have included the following article for your information.  As with all things, judge what you read by G-d’s word, and the lead of the Holy Spirit.  It is not for me to advise you to agree or disagree, you must make up your own mind.  Please though, I have researched this article, and while I don’t necessarily agree with all points, I feel strongly enough about it to place it before you, for it carries with important questions.  May the Holy Spirit lead you into all truth….DER

Article #1:

Dispensationalism
A Return to Biblical Theology
or Pseudo Christian Cult?

John H. Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism
 (Brentwood TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), 150.

    "What is indisputably, absolutely, and uncompromisingly essential to the Christian religion is its doctrine of salvation... If Dispensationalism has actually departed from the only way of salvation which the Christian religion teaches, then we must say it has departed from Christianity. No matter how many other important truths it proclaims, it cannot be called Christian if it empties Christianity of its essential message. We define a cult as a religion which claims to be Christian while emptying Christianity of that which is essential to it. If Dispensationalism does this, then Dispensationalism is a cult and not a branch of the Christian church. It is as serious as that. It is impossible to exaggerate the gravity of the situation."

Contents:

   1. Why Argue About Doctrine?
   2. What is Dispensationalism?
   3. Is Dispensational Premillennialism Different from Historic Premillennialism?
   4. How Does Dispensationalism Deny the Gospel?
          * The Scofield Problem
          * The Chafer Problem
          * The Kingdom Offer
          * Israel and the Church
          * The New Covenant
   5. How the Pretribulational Rapture Denies the Gospel
   6. Questions for Dispensationalists
   7. Appendices
          * Glossary
          * Consistent Dispensationalism

1. Why Argue about Doctrine?

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. -Romans 16:17-18 KJV

Why do so many who call themselves Christian continually argue among themselves and with others about doctrine? Are not all who name Christ united by the Holy Spirit into Christ's body? Doesn't every church teach the same basic doctrine? If this were so there would have been no need for Paul to admonish young pastor Timothy "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine...", for the Councils of the early church to define the creeds and oppose false teachings, for Martin Luther's 95 Theses, the Augsburg Confession, nor in fact for the Reformation as a whole.

    If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefront besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. -Martin Luther

Since Christian doctrine was first defined there have been continuous assaults, both overt and insidious, to lead astray those whose faith is not firmly grounded in Christ and sound doctrine. The church has attempted to deal with this fact by defining creeds and confessions, teaching catechisms, and requiring pastors to be trained by orthodox institutions.

Unfortunately, most of the American church has been caught up in a form of revivalism that replaces creeds with "testimonies", catechisms with "Youth Group Pizza Nite", and theological training of pastors with church growth seminars. Most laymen, and many preachers, have a difficult time putting into words exactly what they believe, and of the few who can make a statement of doctrine fewer still can cite the scriptural basis, history, or make a logical defense of said doctrine. Such is the curse of a theology based upon feelings and experience rather than Word and Sacrament.

Paul, the apostle, was adamant on the subject of doctrine. His admonition quoted from the Epistle to the Romans was not to avoid the issue of doctrine, but rather to mark those who teach doctrine contrary to that which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude agrees that Christian doctrine was settled at the time of the writing of his Epistle, but that heresy was creeping into the church.

    "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." -Jude 1:3-4

Are we, as Christians, to divide over any and all issues? The ever increasing number of denominations and sects has been caused primarily by disputes over what was considered by those involved to be doctrinal issues. Many will argue over food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, and while such issues may have legitimacy in regard to physical health or preferences in forms, the dividing line should be drawn over much more substantial criteria.

2. What is Dispensationalism?

Dispensationalism is a form of premillennialism originating among the Plymouth Brethren in the early 1830's. The father of dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby, educated as a lawyer and ordained Anglican priest, was one of the chief founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement, which arose in reaction against the perceived empty formalism of the Church of England. To the Brethren the true "invisible" church was to come out of the apostate "visible" Church, rejecting such forms as priesthood and sacraments.

Dispensational theology centers upon the concept of God's dealings with mankind being divided into (usually) seven distinct economies or "dispensations", in which man is tested as to his obedience to the will of God as revealed under each dispensation.

Dispensationalists see God as pursuing two distinct purposes throughout history, one related to an earthly goal and an earthly people (the Jews), the other to heavenly goals and a heavenly people (the church).1

Dispensationalists believe that in the Old Testament God promised the Jewish people an earthly kingdom ruled by Messiah ben David, and that when Christ came He offered this prophesied kingdom to the Jews. When the Jews of the time rejected Christ and the earthly kingdom, the promise was postponed, and the "mystery form" of the kingdom - the church - was established.

The church, according to dispensational doctrine, was unforeseen in the Old Testament and constitutes a "parenthesis" in God's plan for Israel. In the future, the distinction between Jew and Gentile will be reestablished and will continue throughout all eternity. The "parenthesis", or church age, will end at the rapture when Christ comes invisibly to take all believers (excepting OT saints) to heaven to celebrate the "marriage feast of the Lamb" with Christ for a period of seven years.2

God's program for the Jews then resumes with the tribulation, Antichrist, bowls of wrath, 144,000 Jews preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and Armageddon. Then, the Second (third, if you count the preTrib rapture) Coming, the instantaneous conversion of the entire nation of Israel, the resurrection of the Tribulation and Old Testament saints, and the "sheep and goats" judgment. The "goats" will be cast into hell, the "sheep" and the believing Jews will enter the millennium in natural human bodies, marrying, reproducing, and dying. The "mystery church" and the resurrected Tribulation and Old Testament saints will live in the heavenly Jerusalem suspended above the earthly city. This millennium will be a time of great peace and prosperity, with Christ ruling on David's throne. After 1,000 yrs. Satan will be released from the chain with which he had been bound at the beginning of the millennium and many of the children born to the "sheep" and the Israelites will follow him in revolt against Christ. The King will again destroy His enemies, followed by another resurrection of the righteous, another resurrection of the unrighteous, a final judgment, and at last the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Although premillennial thought has been recorded in the early church, dispensational theology and its pursuant eschatology are new, as even the father of the system admitted -

    "I think we ought to have something more of direct testimony as to the lord's coming, and its bearing also on the state of the church: ordinarily, it would not be well to have it so clear, as it frightens people. We must pursue it steadily; it works like leaven, and its fruit is by no means seen yet; I do not mean leaven as ill, but the thoughts are new, and people's minds work on them, and all the old habits are against their feelings - all the gain of situation, and every worldly motive; we must not be surprised at its effect being slow on the mass, the ordinary instruments of acting upon others having been trained in most opposite habits." - LETTERS OF J.N.D., vol.1 pg.25-26

The new doctrine was widely accepted in America, due to popular prophetic meetings such as the Niagara Bible Conferences. C.I. Scofield promulgated dispensational thought in his Scofield Reference Bible. Dispensational Bible institutes by the hundreds have sprung up across the continent - notably Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary. Media evangelists such as Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe, and Hal Lindsey popularize dispensational eschatology today. Most likely you have heard these doctrines taught over Christian radio programs, and yes, from your own church's pulpit, though probably no one defined the theological system as dispensationalism nor the origination as Darby circa 1832.

Dispensationalists view the teaching as a return to Biblical theology, after nearly 1,800 years of darkness. But, since the day Darby began to preach the doctrine, Godly men have opposed. Many books have been published exposing the flaws in the intricate system. Most hack away at the branches, arguing peripheral issues. We intend to lay the axe to the root of the tree.

    "My brother, I am a constant reader of my Bible, and I soon found that what I was taught to believe (by Darby's doctrine) did not always agree with what my Bible said. I came to see that I must either part company with John Darby, or my precious Bible, and I chose to cling to my Bible and part from Mr. Darby." - George Müeller, a contemporary and one time supporter of Darby quoted by Robert Cameron in his book SCRIPTURAL TRUTH ABOUT THE LORD'S RETURN, pp.146-7

3. Is Dispensational Premillennialism Different from Historic Premillennialism?

Please understand that Dispensational Premillennialism and classic Historic Premillennialism are two very different systems of eschatology:

From: THE BIBLE AND THE FUTURE by Dr. Wick Broomall

       * Older premillennialism taught that the church was in the forevision of the Old Testament prophecy; Dispensationalism teaches that the church is hardly, if at all, in the Old Testament prophets.
    * Older premillennialism taught that the great burden of Old Testament prophecy was the coming of Christ to die (at the First Advent) and the kingdom age (at the Second Advent). Dispensationalism says that the great burden of Old Testament prophecy is the kingdom of the Jews.
    * Older premillennialism taught that the First Advent was the specific time for Christ to die for man's sin; Dispensationalism teaches that the kingdom (earthly) should have been set up at the First Advent for that was the predicted time of its coming.
    * Older premillennialism taught that the present age of grace was designed by God and predicted in the Old Testament; Dispensationalism holds that the present age was unforeseen in the Old Testament and thus is a "great parenthesis" introduced because the Jews rejected the kingdom.
    * Older premillennialism taught that one may divide time in any way desirable so long as one allows for a millennium after the Second Advent; Dispensationalism maintains that the only allowable way to divide time is in seven dispensations. The present age is the sixth such dispensation; the last one will be the millennial age after the Second Advent. It is from this division of time that Dispensationalism gets its name.
    * Older premillennialism taught that the Second Advent was to be one event; Dispensationalism holds that the Second Advent will be in two sections - "the Rapture" and "the Revelation." Between these two events they put the (to them) unfulfilled seventieth week (seven years) of Daniel 9:23-27, which they call "the Great Tribulation."
    * Older premillennialism taught that certain signs must precede the Second Advent; Dispensationalism teaches that no sign precedes the "rapture-stage" of the Second Advent, which may occur "at any moment." However, there are signs that precede the "revelation-stage" of the Second Advent. The "Rapture" could occur "at any moment," but the "Revelation" must take place after the seven years of the Great Tribulation. The first stage is undated and unannounced; the second stage is dated and announced.
    * Older premillennialism had two resurrections-the righteous before the Millennium; the unrighteous after the Millennium. Dispensationalism has introduced a third resurrection - "tribulation-saints" at the "revelation-stage" of the Second Advent.
    * Older premillennialism usually held what is called the "historical symbolic" view of the book of Revelation. This view makes Revelation a picture in symbolic form of the main events in the present age. Dispensationalism holds generally to the "futurist" view of the book of Revelation, which view makes almost the whole book (especially chapters 4 to 19) a literal description of events to take place during "the Great Tribulation" or Daniel's seventieth week, which Dispensationalism considers as yet unfulfilled.
    * The general attitude of older premillennialism was on the whole mild and reverent in its approach to Scripture. There have been some outstanding scholars who have been persuaded that the premillennial is the correct view. In contrast, Dispensationalism has assumed a far more dogmatic attitude. It has introduced a number of novelties in prophetic interpretation that the church never heard of until about a century ago.

Historic Premillennialism is considered to be an orthodox Christian millennial system. Arguments posited against this older form of chiliasm will be in the nature of a disagreement among brethren about non-essentials. The dispensational system, however, differs from orthodox Christian doctrine in many areas. Most of these aberrations will, if seriously considered, end in the denial of the everlasting gospel.

4. How Does Dispensationalism Deny the Gospel?

    I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. -Gal 1:6-10

Dispensationalists have long been accused of teaching multiple methods of salvation. Dispensational leaders (excepting the Bullingerite or Consistent sects) have long denied these charges. Denial without refutation is, however, meaningless. Let us examine some of the evidence.
The Scofield Problem

C.I. Scofield (1843-1921) pastor of the First Congregational Church in Dallas, Texas, and then of Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts, discussed with Arno C. Gaebelein his plan to write an annotated version of the Bible in 1901 :

    "One night, about the middle of that week, Dr. Scofield suggested, after the evening service, that we take a stroll along the shore. It was a beautiful night. Our walk along the shore of the sound lasted until midnight. For the first time he mentioned the plan of producing a reference Bible, and outlined the method he had in mind. He said he had thought of it for many years and had spoken to others about it, but had not received much encouragement. The scheme came to him in the early days of his ministry in Dallas, and later, during the balmy days of the Niagara Conferences he had submitted his desire to a number of brethren, who all approved of it, but nothing came of it. He expressed the hope that the new beginning and this new testimony in Sea Cliff might open the way to bring about the publication of such a Bible with references and copious footnotes." -Moody Monthly 43 ( 1943 ) : 278.

The end result of this discussion was the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909, combining an attractive format, notes, and cross references which became perhaps the most influential tome of dispensational theology to date. "The teachings of dispensational premillennialism on prophecy have spread widely in Canada and the United States, due especially to the influence of the 1909 Scofield Reference Bible and it subsequent editions."3 The theology presented by Scofield in his Reference Bible is normative dispensational doctrine, thus the significance of the quote here:

    "As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ....The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation"4

Scofield here states that salvific grace is a New Testament phenomenon, unavailable in previous dispensations. Notice that Scofield explains that legal obedience was the condition of salvation in the previous dispensation, but that now faith in Christ is the condition that must be met. This is consistent with Scofield's definition of a dispensation.

    A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.5

If, indeed, man is tested in respect to obedience to the will of God in each of these "dispensations", what is the reward - or punishment? If the reward is salvation, as obviously Scofield taught concerning the dispensation of Law, that salvation is not of grace but of works! The dispensationalist, misunderstanding the concept of Law and Gospel, offers salvation to those who meet the condition of the "dispensation" in which they are tested, thus even in the dispensation of Grace, faith becomes a work which entitles us to Christ. If one can only muster from the depths of one's heart enough "faith", one can meet the condition of this dispensation and be rewarded with salvation.6

Orthodox Christian doctrine, on the other hand, adamantly teaches that man is dead in trespasses and sin, cannot improve his condition in the slightest, and that it is Christ alone who justifies the ungodly. Faith is the gift of God, through the new birth, a work of the Holy Spirit by Word and Sacrament.

    It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers' wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit. Rejected in this connection are the Pelagians and others who deny that original sin is sin, for they hold that natural man is made righteous by his own powers, thus disparaging the sufferings and merit of Christ. 7

In answer to the "Scofield problem" dispensationalism began to redefine the term "dispensation". The New Scofield Reference Bible of 1967 repeats Scofield's terminology, but the modern commentators elaborate on 1909 version indicating that the definition implies three concepts: a new divine revelation, the nature of man's stewardship with respect to it, and a certain time period for it. These implied concepts are then qualified to such an extent as to make the delineations meaningless. Significantly, this new definition of dispensations brings into question whether the term means anything at all.

    The purpose of each dispensation, then, is to place man under a specific rule of conduct, but such stewardship is not a condition of salvation. In every past dispensation unregenerate man has failed, and he has failed in this present dispensation and will in the future. But salvation has been and will continue to be available to him by God's grace through faith.8

Revisionist dispensationalism now states that the purpose of the dispensations are not salvific. What, then, is the purpose of the testing in regards to the "specific rule of conduct"? What is the significance of man's failure in the various dispensations? It seems that while Scofield might have been too frank in his elucidation, his successors have so qualified the term "dispensation" as to remove from it any semblance of meaning. Note also, that "available to him by God's grace through faith" still leaves it unclear as to whether "faith" is an innate ability of fallen man, or is a product of the new birth.

The central question here is whether dispensational theology recognizes, as does orthodox Christianity, that regeneration is the source of faith. Dispensational theology sees the sequence of dispensations as opportunities for fallen man to attain to God. Though in past dispensations none passed the test, the opportunity was there - "Do this and live". During the current dispensation of Grace, the bar has been lowered - all that is required is "faith". If a man will avail himself of his "chance", and exercise his own moral ability to believe, he will be entitled to the grace of God in Christ.


The Chafer Problem

Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952), a student of Scofield, established Dallas Theological Seminary in 1924, and led dispensationalism's flagship school for it's first thirty years. Chafer also produced the first definitive systematic theology of dispensationalism. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols., (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948) is a standard articulation of Scofieldian dispensational thought. Chafer, always faithful to his mentor, stated - "It goes on record that the Dallas Theological Seminary uses, recommends, and defends the Scofield Bible."9

That the founder of the school known as the "Jerusalem of Dispensationalism", and the author of her Systematic Theology might make statements such as the following comes as no surprise to those who understand the grievous error of the dispensational system.

    "With the call of Abraham and the giving of the Law... there are two widely different standardized, divine provisions whereby man, who is utterly fallen, might come into the favor of God."10

Chafer's Systematic Theology makes the point that in the Old Testament men were justified by the Law, while in the New Testament faith was without works.11 Again, in his Dispensationalism, p. 430, Chafer makes plain his misunderstanding of grace -

    As before stated, whatever God does for sinful men on any terms whatsoever [being made possible through the death of Christ] is to that extent, an act of divine grace; for whatever God does on the ground of Christ's death is gracious in character, and all will agree that a divine covenant which is void of all human elements is more gracious in character than one which is otherwise. These distinctions apply only to the divine side of the covenant. On the human side... there is no exercise of grace in any case; but the human requirements which the divine covenant imposes may be either absolutely lacking, or some so drastically imposed as to determine the destiny of the individual.

Chafer, in keeping with the standard definition of a dispensation, sees the Atonement as making grace possible throughout the various ages, which allows salvation to be viewed as gracious regardless of the added requirements of that specific dispensation. So, under Grace (...the human requirements which the divine covenant imposes may be either absolutely lacking...) if one can generate the necessary faith one might receive grace. Under the dispensation of Law (...or some so drastically imposed as to determine the destiny of the individual.), one might be required to keep the Law.

In either case, the salvation obtained is gracious (according to Chafer), while in fact it is salvation by grace in neither. Modern dispensationalists may argue that what Scofield and Chafer had meant has not been properly discerned from what they have said. To that we say, look to the Consistent (or Bullingerite) Dispensationalist who has done nothing other than carry dispensationalism consistently to it's logical conclusions.

The Kingdom Offer

Dispensationalism believes that the purpose of the first advent of Jesus Christ was to offer an earthly Kingdom to the Jews. This Kingdom would reinstate the Old Testament legal system and it's expansion to the entire world under the Messiah. When the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and His Kingdom offer, plan B went into effect and Christ went to the cross to initiate the dispensation of Grace and the "mystery church". Had Israel received her King there would have been no cross - and no Gospel!

    When Jesus came, He made a bona fide offer of the Kingdom and power to the people of Israel.12

What then, if the Jews had done their duty and accepted this offer, of the salvation of mankind? What of the cross - "without shedding of blood there is no remission"? What of the prophecies pointing to the cross? How could Christ offer a Kingdom that He could not permit to be established lest there be no salvation of man by His shed Blood? Dispensationalists attempt to absolve themselves from the concept of making God a liar by claiming He knew no one would call His bluff.

    He knew before He came that they would refuse it - knew from all eternity; hence, there are prophets which speak of His coming to die for us.13

Still, the problem stands. Even if Christ made an earthly Kingdom offer knowing that the Jews would refuse, the offer could not have been redeemed. An offer that is impossible to honor is not a sincere offer but a fraud. Our God makes no insincere offers. Besides, if Christ came to establish an earthly Kingdom for the Jews surely He had opportunity, and the support of the masses -

    Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. -John 6:15

No, Christ came at the set time to die on the cross, to redeem fallen mankind. All true sons of Abraham recognized Him. It is at the Ascension that He received His Kingdom, and He is seated now on His Throne!

    Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. -Eph 1:15-21

The Dispensational Distinction
Between Israel and the Church

    Comparing, then, what is said in Scripture concerning Israel and the Church, we find that in origin, calling, promises, worship, principles of conduct and future destiny all is contrast.14

Perhaps the central doctrine of dispensationalism is the distinction between Israel and the church. Dispensationalism sees Israel as an earthly people with earthly promises, and the church as a heavenly people with heavenly promises. Membership in Israel is by natural birth.15 One enters the church by supernatural birth. Dispensationalists view Israel and the church as having distinct eternal destinies. Israel will receive an eternal earthly Kingdom, and the church an eternal heavenly Kingdom.

Darby, the father of dispensationalism, stated the distinction in the clearest of terms "The Jewish nation is never to enter the church."16 Ryrie considers this the most important dispensational distinction, and approves the statement that the "basic promise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction throughout eternity."17

In contrast, Christian theology has always maintained the essential continuity of Israel and the church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people, with one Savior, one destiny. This continuity can be shown by examining a few Old Testament prophesies with their fulfillment. Dispensationalists admit that if the church can be shown to be fulfilling promises made to Israel their system is doomed.

    If the church is fulfilling Israel's promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned.18

Promise to Israel -

    "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There it shall be said to them, 'You are sons of the living God.' -Hosea 1:10

Fulfillment in the church -

    What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved." "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God." -Romans :22-26

Promise to Israel -

    Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!'" -Hosea 2:23

Fulfillment in the church -

    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. -1 Peter 2:9-10

Promise to Israel -

    "On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; -Amos 9:11

Fulfillment in the church -

    "Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. "And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 'After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.' "Known to God from eternity are all His works. -Acts 15:14-18

In the same manner there are many Old Testament passages referring to Israel that are in the New Testament applied directly to the church.

Spoken to Israel -

    "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls. -Joel 2:28-32

Applied to the church -

    When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place..."But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.' -Acts 2:1,16-21

Spoken to Israel -

    'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." -Exodus 19:6

Applied to the church -

    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; -1 Peter 2:9

Spoken to Israel -

    "My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. -Ezekiel 37:27

Applied to the church -

    And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." -2 Cor 6:16

Spoken to Israel -

    "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. -Lev 19:2

Applied to the church -

    but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." -1 Peter 1:15-16

Spoken to Israel -

    "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- -Jer 31:31

Applied to the church -

    Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. -Luke 22:20

The New Covenant is particularly problematic for the dispensationalist, as Jeremiah 31 is undeniably addressed to Israel. The New Covenant is the very heart of the Gospel, yet if the church is fulfilling the promise given to Israel under the New Covenant, dispensationalism is dead. Ryrie, in his early writings, makes this significant statement:

    If the church does not have a new covenant, then she is fulfilling Israel's promises, for it has been clearly shown that the Old Testament teaching on the new covenant is that it is for Israel. If the church is fulfilling Israel's promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere else in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned. One might well ask why there are not two aspects to the one new covenant. This is the position held by many premillennialists, but we agree that the amillennialist has every right to say of this view that it is a practical admission that the new covenant is fulfilled in and to the church.19

Dispensationalism has used various arguments to get around this insurmountable problem. Perhaps the boldest was the concept of two New Covenants. Chafer appears to be the originator of the idea:

    There remains to be recognized a heavenly covenant for the heavenly people, which is also styled like the preceding one for Israel a "new covenant." It is made in the blood of Christ (cf. Mark 14:24) and continues in effect throughout this age, whereas the new covenant made with Israel happens to be future in its application. To suppose that these two covenants -- one for Israel and one for the Church -- are the same is to assume that there is a latitude of common interest between God's purpose for Israel and His purpose for the Church.20

Consistent Dispensationalists have long recognized the problem. E.W. Bullinger noted that the cup of the Lord's Supper was indeed the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-33, directed to Israel and not the church, and for that very reason the "mystery" church should not administer it. Moderate (inconsistent) dispensationalists, not understanding the Sacrament, but still desiring to preserve their "memorial" sought to maneuver out of this predicament. John F. Walvoord, who became the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and who appears to be the leading contemporary champion of the second new covenant, writes:

    The point of view that holds to two covenants in the present age has certain advantages. It provides a sensible reason for establishing the Lord's supper for believers in this age in commemoration of the blood of the new covenant. The language of I Corinthians 11:25 seems to require it: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do as often as ye drink it in remembrance of me." It hardly seems reasonable to expect Christians to distinguish between the cup and the new covenant when these appear to be identified in this passage. In 2 Corinthians 3:6, Paul speaking of himself states: "Our sufficiency is of God: who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant." It would be difficult to adjust the ministry of Paul as a minister of the new covenant if, in fact, there is no new covenant for the present age. 21

Walvoord, discussing the Epistle to the Hebrews, contrasts the Mosaic (old) Covenant, the New Covenant, and his novel "Better" Covenant. The identification of the New Covenant which replaces the Old Covenant would seem to be certain by the lengthy quotation from Jeremiah 31 which the Epistle contains, and thus it is with some astonishment that one reads Walvoord's denial:

    The Epistle to the Hebrews by its title is addressed to the Jewish people. The epistle is planned to show that Christ and Christian doctrine supersedes Moses and the Mosaic covenant. The argument in Hebrews eight proceeds on the revelation that Christ is mediator of a better covenant than Moses, established on better promises. At this point, the writer shows that the Mosaic covenant was never intended to be eternal (in contrast to other Jewish covenants) and that the Old Testament itself anticipated the day of its passing. To prove this point, the passage from Jeremiah on the new covenant is quoted (Heb. 8:8-12)...There is no appeal at all to the content of the new covenant with Israel as being identical with the better covenant of which Hebrews speaks. The very absence of such an appeal is as strong as any argument from silence can be. 22

Dispensationalists, determined to cling to their false distinction between Israel and the church are forced to abandon the New Covenant's application in any real sense to the church. Albertus Pieters, however, representing non-dispensational commentators in general, explains:

    This is entirely correct [that Israel is meant in Jeremiah 31], and it is to the house of Israel that the fulfillment came. The objection arises from a failure to perceive that the Christian church in its origin was an Israelitish body, full qualified to claim the promises made to Israel.... The Christian church once having been established many Gentiles came into it, but that did not make it a "church from among the Gentiles", any more than the naturalization of many Italians in our country makes it a nation from among the Italians.... they were all Israelite members of the Old Covenant people of God, to whom the promise had been made. Strictly in line with the promise and with the prevailing principle of the covenant history, to them, the believing remnant, the promise of the New Covenant was fulfilled. That promise was, "To the House of Israel and the House of Judah," and to the designated parties the fulfillment came; to all who were, in the sight of God and according to a just interpretation of history, still worthy of the name: "Israel and Judah.".... In all this, are we spiritualizing the prophecy as some allege? Not at all. We are stating a historical fact, clearly contained in the sacred records, that in or about the spring of the year 30 A.D., the mass of those who then called themselves Israelites ceased to be such for prophetic and covenant purpose, having forfeited their citizenship in the commonwealth of Israel by refusing to accept the Messiah, and that after this event all the privileges of the Abrahamic Covenant and all the promises of God belonged to the believing remnant, and to them only; which remnant was therefore and thereafter the true Israel and Judah, the Seed of Abraham, the Christian church. Thus the promise was fulfilled strictly and definitely to the designated parties.23

5. How the Pretribulational Rapture Denies the Gospel

We have discussed the fact that the dispensationalist's understanding of "dispensation" invalidates the reality of grace in any age, how the dispensational "Kingdom Offer" impugns the honesty of God and makes the gospel nothing more than an afterthought, and how presumed distinctions between Israel and the church deny the New Covenant to either. We will now examine how the peculiarly dispensational doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture of the Church makes manifest these errors.

The novel doctrine of the pretribulational rapture is central to dispensational teaching. The removal of the church to heaven preceding the Tribulation period, when the stopped prophetic clock begins ticking for Israel again with the "Seventieth Week of Daniel", was Darby's innovation.

    Darby broke not only from previous millenarian teaching but from all of church history by asserting that Christ's second coming would occur in two stages. The first, an invisible "secret rapture" of true believers could happen at any moment, ending the great "parenthesis" or church age which began when the Jews rejected Christ. 24

Scofield also taught this doctrine along with Chafer, Ryrie, Walvoord, etc. At dispensational schools, failure to hold steadfastly to the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture may have dire consequences.

    ...the doctrine of a pretribulational rapture of the church seems to be a litmus test of orthodoxy. To "outsiders," including classic premillennialists, this doctrine is not crucial, if it is believed at all. But not only is it vigorously maintained in Dallas Dispensationalism, but deviation from it causes a person to be suspect and institutions to shake and sometimes split.25

It is unfortunate that "outsiders" - historic premillennialists, postmillennialists, and amillennialists - have not taken this distinctively dispensational doctrine more seriously, for it is here that dispensational theology stands or falls. It is the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture that proves conclusively that Dispensationalism is not, as dispensationalists claim, a return to Biblical theology - but a pseudo Christian cult.

Most arguments against pretribulationism have focused upon showing that the doctrine is a new development in theology and can not be found in the scriptures. Various orthodox commentators and theologians, from the ranks of each of the millennial views26, have presented this case with considerable skill. We will therefore take a different tack, and show that the doctrine is in direct opposition to the everlasting Gospel of Christ Jesus.

Most earlier dispensational theologians allowed that the Old Testament saints would be resurrected along with the church in the pretribulational rapture. Alexander Reese, a classic premillennialist, utterly destroyed this position with convincing scriptural arguments locating the resurrection of the Old Testament saints at the Day of the Lord at the end of the Tribulation.27

    "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. -Daniel 12:1-2

    Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. "Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. "Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days." -Daniel 12:8-13

No dispensationalist would argue that the "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation", the "abomination of desolation", and the taking away of the daily sacrifice is not a reference to the time of the Tribulation. Yet, Daniel is told that the resurrection follows these events.

Dispensationalists then, for the most part, amended their position to separate the resurrection of the Old Testament saints from the rapture.

    ... many careful students of premillennial truth have come to the conclusion that the opinion that Israel's resurrection occurred at the time of the rapture was a hasty one and without proper Scriptural foundation. It seems far more preferable to regard the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 as a literal one following the tribulation, but not to be identified with the pretribulational rapture of the church... The church will be raised at the time of the rapture before the tribulation, and the Old Testament saints, including Israel, at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ. 28

On this point the dispensationalist has jumped from the frying pan into the fire. In order to preserve the precious doctrine of the pretribulational rapture of the church, they raise the Old Testament saints apart from the saints of the church age. We note that this is consistent with the dispensational understanding of "dispensations" and with their distinction between Israel and the church. It also reveals that the longstanding charge made by orthodox Christianity that dispensationalism teaches multiple methods of salvation is absolutely true. Let us look at some of the texts concerning the resurrection of the saints -

    Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" -1 Cor 15:50-55

    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. -1 Thes 4:15-17

In these classic dispensational proof texts of the pretribulational rapture, we see that the righteous dead are raised first, and then those who are alive and remain are translated into incorruptable bodies and gathered to Christ. How, then, can the dispensationalist justify the concept of the Old Testament saints being raised at some later point in time?

    Some people are startled by the thought that the Old Testament saints will not be resurrected until the end of the Tribulation. But keep in mind that the rapture is a promise to the Church, and the Church only.29

We see that the dispensationally imposed distinction between Israel and the church is at the root of this argument. The Old Testament saints are not "in Christ" and therefore will not arise to everlasting life at the same time as the church saints.

    According to dispensationalists, the Old Testament people are not the heirs of the Holy Spirit, are not regenerated by Him, and are not grafted by Him into Christ in the same way that the New Testament people are.30

    ...the verse simply says that the dead in Christ will precede the living in Christ in the rapture. If you are saying that Daniel would be included in "the dead", then you have to show that Daniel is "in Christ". If you will study the NT you will see that "in Christ" refers to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink"...There is no way that Daniel was part of the body of Christ. This verse in 1 Thess 4:16 simply does not apply to him. The Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell believers in the OT. It is not really people or time period that delineates the church--it is the Holy Spirit. Personal faith in Jesus Christ--which is what the passage is referring to--was not an option for OT saints. They are not in view in this passage. It is referring to people who do have the option of this personal faith in Jesus...OT saints are "in Christ" in that sense that the death of Jesus is the basis for the salvation of anyone--past, present, future. However, they were not part of the body of Christ, in the sense of being permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit. 31

    The technical term for the Church is those who are "in Christ." 1 Thess. speaks of those who have died "in Christ" being resurrected at the time of His coming IN THE AIR. The context has ONLY the Church in mind. 32

This dispensational distinction between the OT & NT saints, the church & Israel, is in fact what denies dispensationalism any claim to Christianity at all, for in that very distinction dispensationalism teaches multiple methods of salvation. By excluding the OT saint from the ekklesia (church) the dispensationalist is required to produce some means, other than partaking of the New Covenant in Christ, for one or the other of the groups to be granted eternal life. The teaching of the church for the last 2,000 yrs precludes this, as does our Lord.

    Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. " - John 6:53-56 33

Notice these points which contradict Dispensational doctrine -

    * No one has life who does not partake of the New Covenant in Christ's Blood. The OT saint must partake, as does the NT & tribulation saint, in order to have life.
    * ALL who partake are raised at the LAST DAY. That day is the "end of the days" prophesied to Daniel -

          "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."- Daniel 12:13

    * ALL who partake are "in Christ" and He in they.
    * ALL THE SAINTS are promised the same resurrection, by the same Blood, at the same time!

          And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. -Hebrews 9:15

          By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. -Hebrews 11:9-10

          These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth...But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. -Hebrews 11:13,16

          And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. -Hebrews 11:39-40

The dispensationalist, ignoring the clear teaching of scripture and the historic church, denies the existence of the general assembly, and falls back to perdition by advocating shadows as the means of salvation for the OT & Tribulation saint, all in order to preserve the delusion of the pretribulational rapture!

    But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. -Hebrews 12:22-29

The dispensational argument that proclaims that the OT saint is somehow saved because of Christ - rather than being "in Christ" by partaking of the New Covenant in His Blood - is opposed to orthodox Christian soteriology.

    The truth will inevitably manifest itself. It has in dispensational soteriology. The truth is that another way of salvation which is somehow connected with Christ but not resting on Christ is a DIFFERENT way. The dispensationalist at this point is, unconsciously perhaps, consistent with himself. He does not regard the Old Testament people of God as second, third, or fourth class citizens of the Kingdom of God. They simply are not citizens at all. While dispensationalists roundly assert that Old Testament people were saved by Christ, there is NO WAY IN THEIR THEOLOGICAL SYSTEM they could be.34

6. Questions for Dispensationalists

If the dispensationalist will simply answer these honestly presented queries, we will be able to discern whether the accusations against dispensationalism are true -

1. Has the OT saint partaken of the blood of Christ shed for sins?

    Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." -John 6:53-54

    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." -Matthew 26:26-28

2. Does the Spirit of Christ dwell in the OT saint?

    "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." -John 6:56

    But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. -Romans 8:9

3. Are ALL the saints of ALL the ages ONE BODY, drinking of the SAME Spirit?

    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. -1 Cor 10:16-17

    For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. -1 Cor 12:13

If one answers in the affirmative the above queries, one has abandoned Dispensationalism. Congratulations, brother, welcome to orthodox Christianity! If one answers any of the above in the negative, then the accusations against dispensationalism are true, and we would ask that person to produce the means of the OT saints salvation!
Soli Deo Gloria !

Footnotes -

   1. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), 41-45
   2. Darby introduced into discussion at Powerscourt (1833) the ideas of a secret rapture of the church and of a parenthesis in prophetic fulfillment between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of Daniel. These two concepts constituted the basic tenets of the system of theology since referred to as dispensationalism... E.R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism 1800-1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970)
   3. The End Times: A Study on Eschatology and Millennialism, A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations LCMS, Sept. 1989, p.3
   4. C.I. Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, 1909,1917(notes on John 1:17 sec.2) p.1115
   5. Ibid., p.5
   6. Though claiming Calvinist roots, on this point the dispensationalist apparently agrees with Zwingli and Pelagius rather than Calvin or Luther
   7. The Augsburg Confession, Article II [ Original Sin ]
   8. New Scofield Reference Bible, p.3
   9. Quoted in Jon Zens, Dispensationalism, p.12
  10. L.S. Chafer, "Dispensationalism," Bibliotheca Sacra 93 (1936):93
  11. L.S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, 7:219
  12. D.G. Barnhouse, He Came Unto His Own (New York: Revell, 1933), p.17
  13. Ibid.
  14. Scofield, "Scofield Bible Correspondence Course", pp. 23-25, cited in Zens, Dispensationalism, p.17
  15. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, pp.137-140
  16. J.N. Darby, The Hopes of the Church of God (London: G. Morrish, n.d.), p.106
  17. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, pp.44-45
  18. Ryrie, THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE NEW COVENANT TO PREMILLENNIALISM (unpublished Master's thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary 1947), p. 31
  19. Ibid.
  20. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, VII, 98.
  21. Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, p. 218.
  22. John F. Walvoord, "The New Covenant With Israel," Bibliotheca Sacra, 103:24, 25, January, 1946.
  23. Albertus Pieters, The Seed of Abraham, p. 71-76
  24. W.A. Hoffecker, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, "Darby, John Nelson," pp. 292-3.
  25. John H. Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), 47.
  26. Alexander Reese (premill.), O.T. Allis (amill.), W.E. Cox (amill.), Greg Bahnsen & Kenneth Gentry (postmill.) are notable among others
  27. Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ (Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, 1937; reprint, Grand Rapids MI: Grand Rapids International Publications, 1975), 328 p.
  28. John F. Walvoord, Israel in Prophesy (1962; reprint, Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan, 1977), 116, 118.
  29. David R. Reagan, The Master Plan: Making Sense of the Controversies Surrounding Bible Prophecy Today (Eugene OR: Harvest House, 1993), 123.
  30. John H. Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Brentwood TN:Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), 206.
  31. "Resurrection Apart from Christ?" Bill Barton, Armageddon, FamilyNet, 10/21/93.
  32. "Rapture," Gary Nystrom, Armageddon, FamilyNet, 5/28/94.
  33. Here we also note the grievous error of many Christians in viewing the Lord's Supper as a memorial rather than the Sacrament that it is.
  34. John H. Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Brentwood TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), 169.
  35. E.W. Bullinger, Foundations of Dispensational Truth (London: Eyre and Spottiswood, 1931), 34.
  36. Ibid., p.219.
  37. Harry Ironside, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth (New York: Loizeaux, n.d.), 11.
  38. John H. Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Brentwood TN:Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991), 204-5.


Article #2:

Matthew Henry on Col. 3:12-17

Col 3:12-17 
The apostle proceeds to exhort to mutual love and compassion: Put on therefore bowels of mercy, Col_3:12. We must not only put off anger and wrath (as Col_3:8), but we must put on compassion and kindness; not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well; not only not do hurt to any, but do what good we can to all.
I. The argument here used to enforce the exhortation is very affecting: Put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved. Observe, 1. Those who are holy are the elect of God; and those who are the elect of God, and holy, are beloved - beloved of God, and ought to be so of all men. 2. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to conduct themselves in every thing as becomes them, and so as not to lose the credit of their holiness, nor the comfort of their being chosen and beloved. It becomes those who are holy towards God to be lowly and loving towards all men. Observe, What we must put on in particular. (1.) Compassion towards the miserable: Bowels of mercy, the tenderest mercies. Those who owe so much to mercy ought to be merciful to all who are proper objects of mercy. Be you merciful, as your Father is merciful, Luk_6:36. (2.) Kindness towards our friends, and those who love us. A courteous disposition becomes the elect of God; for the design of the gospel is not only to soften the minds of men, but to sweeten them, and to promote friendship among men as well as reconciliation with God. (3.) Humbleness of mind, in submission to those above us, and condescension to those below us. There must not only be a humble demeanour, but a humble mind. Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, Mat_11:29. (4.) Meekness towards those who have provoked us, or been any way injurious to us. We must not be transported into any indecency by our resentment of indignities and neglects: but must prudently bridle our own anger, and patiently bear the anger of others. (5.) Long-suffering towards those who continue to provoke us. Charity suffereth long, as well as is kind, 1Co_13:4. Many can bear a short provocation who are weary of bearing when it grows long. But we must suffer long both the injuries of men and the rebukes of divine Providence. If God is long-suffering to us, under all our provocations of him, we should exercise long-suffering to others in like cases. (6.) Mutual forbearance, in consideration of the infirmities and deficiencies under which we all labour: Forbearing one another. We have all of us something which needs to be borne with, and this is a good reason why we should bear with others in what is disagreeable to us. We need the same good turn from others which we are bound to show them. (7.) A readiness to forgive injuries: Forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any. While we are in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, and so much occasion of difference and contention, quarrels will sometimes happen, even among the elect of God, who are holy and beloved, as Paul and Barnabas had a sharp contention, which parted them asunder one from the other (Act_15:39), and Paul and Peter, Gal_2:14. But it is our duty to forgive one another in such cases; not to bear any grudge, but put up with the affront and pass it by. And the reason is: Even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. The consideration that we are forgiven by Christ so many offences is a good reason why we should forgive others. It is an argument of the divinity of Christ that he had power on earth to forgive sins; and it is a branch of his example which we are obliged to follow, if we ourselves would be forgiven. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, Mat_6:12.
II. In order to all this, we are exhorted here to several things: - 1. To clothe ourselves with love (Col_3:14): Above all things put on charity: epi pasi di toutois - over all things. Let this be the upper garment, the robe, the livery, the mark of our dignity and distinction. Or, Let this be principal and chief, as the whole sum and abstract of the second table. Add to faith virtue, and to brotherly-kindness charity, 2Pe_1:5-7. He lays the foundation in faith, and the top-stone in charity, which is the bond of perfectness, the cement and centre of all happy society. Christian unity consists of unanimity and mutual love. 2. To submit ourselves to the government of the peace of God (Col_3:15): Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, that is, God's being at peace with you, and the comfortable sense of his acceptance and favour: or, a disposition to peace among yourselves, a peaceable spirit, that keeps the peace, and makes peace. This is called the peace of God, because it is of his working in all who are his. The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace, Rom_14:17. “Let this peace rule in your heart - prevail and govern there, or as an umpire decide all matters of difference among you.” - To which you are called in one body. We are called to this peace, to peace with God as our privilege and peace with our brethren as our duty. Being united in one body, we are called to be at peace one with another, as the members of the natural body; for we are the body of Christ, and members in particular, 1Co_12:27. To preserve in us this peaceable disposition, we must be thankful. The work of thanksgiving to God is such a sweet and pleasant work that it will help to make us sweet and pleasant towards all men. “Instead of envying one another upon account of any particular favours and excellence, be thankful for his mercies, which are common to all of you.” 3. To let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, Col_3:16. The gospel is the word of Christ, which has come to us; but that is not enough, it must dwell in us, or keep house - enoikeitō, not as a servant in a family, who is under another's control, but as a master, who has a right to prescribe to and direct all under his roof. We must take our instructions and directions from it, and our portion of meat and strength, of grace and comfort, in due season, as from the master of the household. It must dwell in us; that is, be always ready and at hand to us in every thing, and have its due influence and use. We must be familiarly acquainted with it, and know it for our good, Job_5:27. It must dwell in us richly: not only keep house in our hearts, but keep a good house. Many have the word of Christ dwelling in them, but it dwells in them but poorly; it has no mighty force and influence upon them. Then the soul prospers when the word of God dwells in us richly, when we have abundance of it in us, and are full of the scriptures and of the grace of Christ. And this in all wisdom. The proper office of wisdom is to apply what we know to ourselves, for our own direction. The word of Christ must dwell in us, not in all notion and speculation, to make us doctors, but in all wisdom, to make us good Christians, and enable us to conduct ourselves in every thing as becomes Wisdom's children. 4. To teach and admonish one another. This would contribute very much to our furtherance in all grace; for we sharpen ourselves by quickening others, and improve our knowledge by communicating it for their edification. We must admonish one another in psalms and hymns. Observe, Singing of psalms is a gospel ordinance: psalmois kai humnois kai ōdais - the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the scripture, and suited to special occasions, instead of their lewd and profane songs in their idolatrous worship. Religious poesy seems countenanced by these expressions and is capable of great edification. But, when we sing psalms, we make no melody unless we sing with grace in our hearts, unless we are suitably affected with what we sing and go along in it with true devotion and understanding. Singing of psalms is a teaching ordinance as well as a praising ordinance; and we are not only to quicken and encourage ourselves, but to teach and admonish one another, mutually excite our affections, and convey instructions. 5. All must be done in the name of Christ (Col_3:17): And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, according to his command and in compliance with his authority, by strength derived from him, with an eye to his glory, and depending upon his merit for the acceptance of what is good and the pardon of what is amiss, Giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Observe, (1.) We must give thanks in all things; whatsoever we do, we must still give thanks, Eph_5:20, Giving thanks always for all things. (2.) The Lord Jesus must be the Mediator of our praises as well as of our prayers. We give thanks to God and the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph_5:20. Those who do all things in Christ's name will never want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.[66]










[1]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[2] Strong numbers for WHNA (only NA part) v2.0 ● Copyright © 2007 Scripture4all Foundation
[3] Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, by Dr. J. Vernon McGee,  Vol. IV, ©1983, Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, CA  pg. 353
[4]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  [5–9] Paul turns the challenge mentioned in 2 Cor 13:3 on them: they are to put themselves to the test to demonstrate whether Christ is in them. These verses involve a complicated series of plays on the theme of dokime (testing, proof, passing and failing a test). Behind this stands the familiar distinction between present human judgment and final divine judgment. This is the final appearance of the theme (cf 2 Cor 10:18; 11:15; 12:19).
[6] The New American Bible : With revised New Testament. 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996 (electronic ed.). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

  [1–6] Like the other numerical values in this book, the thousand years are not to be taken literally; they symbolize the long period of time between the chaining up of Satan (a symbol for Christ’s resurrection-victory over death and the forces of evil) and the end of the world. During this time God’s people share in the glorious reign of God that is present to them by virtue of their baptismal victory over death and sin; cf Romans 6:1–8; John 5:24–25; 16:33; 1 John 3:14; Eph 2:1.
 *Abyss: see the note on Rev 9:1.
 **Dragon...serpent...Satan: see the notes on Rev 12:3,9,10,15.
[7] The New American Bible : With revised New Testament. 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Reseaarch Systems, 1996 (electronic ed.). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
[8] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9] The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
[10] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[11] American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[12] American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
b  neither...: or, live not in careful suspense
[13] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[14] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[15] Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.). Wheaton: Tyndale House.
[16]  Are We to Judge All Things?
 2:15  Paul’s claim about judging all things (1 Cor. 2:15) sounds rather presumptuous. Is he urging believers to become moral policemen, passing judgment on everyone and everything around us?
Yes and no. Paul was challenging the spiritually immature believers at Corinth to grow up by applying spiritual discernment to the world around them. In this passage he mentions three categories of people:
      natural (2:14), those without Christ, still living in the lost condition in which they were born;
      spiritual (2:15), believers in Christ who have been born of the Spirit and in whom the Spirit of God lives and is producing growth; and
      carnal (3:1), believers who remain immature in the faith because they don’t allow the Spirit to work in their lives.
Spiritual people “judge” all things that come their way (2:15) in the sense of scrutinizing, examining, and investigating spiritual value and implications. This is not something that we should do merely as individuals, but also corporately with other believers. For example, in the workplace Christians in various occupations need to band together to explore how the faith applies to particular vocations. By analyzing work situations in light of Scripture, we can discern what the issues are and how we might respond with Christlikeness.
“Judging all things” has nothing to do with damning others, but with recognizing and doing what God would want. Instead of pride, it calls for humility, since God will be the final Judge of everything we do (2 Cor. 5:10). (From Word in Life Study BibleTM, copyright 1993, 1996 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission)
[17] Darby, J. N. (1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
[18] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

   [5–17] In lieu of false asceticism and superstitious festivals, the apostle reminds the Colossians of the moral life that is to characterize their response to God through Christ. He urges their participation in the liturgical hymns and prayers that center upon God’s plan of salvation in Christ (Col 3:16).
 †† The wrath of God: see the note on Romans 1:18.
 †*Many manuscripts add, as at Eph 5:6, “upon the disobedient.”
 †** [8–10] Put...away; have taken off; have put on: the terms may reflect baptismal practice, taking off garments and putting on new ones after being united with Christ, here translated into ethical terms.
 ††† Image: see the note on Col 1:15.
 *Scythian: a barbarous people from north of the Black Sea.
[19] The New American Bible : With revised New Testament. 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996 (electronic ed.). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
[20] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[21] Webster’s Dictionary, 1823 Edition, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers

[22]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[23] Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, by Dr. J. Vernon McGee,  Vol. IV, ©1983, Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, CA  pg. 356
[24]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[25] The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
  Image: see the note on Col 1:15.
[27]The New American Bible : With revised New Testament. 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Reseaarch Systems, 1996 (electronic ed.). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

 * [15–20] As the poetic arrangement indicates, these lines are probably an early Christian hymn, known to the Colossians and taken up into the letter from liturgical use (cf Phil 2:6–11; 1 Tim 3:16). They present Christ as the mediator of creation (Col 1:15–18a) and of redemption (Col 1:18b–20). There is a parallelism between firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15) and firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). While many of the phrases were at home in Greek philosophical use and even in gnosticism, the basic ideas also reflect Old Testament themes about Wisdom found in Prov 8:22–31; Wisdom 7:22–8:1; and Sirach 1:4. See also the notes on what is possibly a hymn in John 1:1–18.
  [15] Image: cf Genesis 1:27. Whereas the man and the woman were originally created in the image and likeness of God (see also Genesis 1:26), Christ as image (2 Cor 4:4) of the invisible God (John 1:18) now shares this new nature in baptism with those redeemed (cf Col 3:10–11).
[28]  The New American Bible : With revised New Testament. 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Reseaarch Systems, 1996 (electronic ed.). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

[29] Concordant Literal Version of the New Testament, A.E. Knoch, Copyright © 1999-2005 Concordant Publishing Concern
Notes from: Jameson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1961)
Col 3:9  (Eph_4:25.)
put offGreek,wholly put off”; utterly renounced [Tittmann]. (Eph_4:22).
the old man — the unregenerate nature which ye had before conversion.
his deeds — habits of acting.
[30] Concordant Literal Version of the New Testament, A.E. Knoch, Copyright © 1999-2005 Concordant Publishing Concern
Notes from: Jameson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1961)
Col 3:10  the new man — (See on Eph_4:23). Here (neon) the Greek, means “the recently-put-on nature”; that lately received at regeneration (see on Eph_4:23, Eph_4:24).
which is renewedGreek, “which is being renewed” (anakainottmenou); namely, its development into a perfectly renewed nature is continually progressing to completion.
in knowledge — rather as the Greek, “unto perfect knowledge” (see on Col_1:6; see on Col_1:9, Col_1:10). Perfect knowledge of God excludes all sin (Joh_17:3).
after the image of him that created him — namely, of God that created the new man (Eph_2:10; Eph_4:24). The new creation is analogous to the first creation (2Co_4:6). As man was then made in the image of God naturally, so now spiritually. But the image of God formed in us by the Spirit of God, is as much more glorious than that borne by Adam, as the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, is more glorious than the first man. Gen_1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The “image” is claimed for man, 1Co_11:7; the “likeness,” Jam_3:9. Origen [On First Principles, 3:6] taught, the image was something in which all were created, and which continued to man after the fall (Gen_9:6). The likeness was something towards which man was created, that he might strive after it and attain it. Trench thinks God in the double statement (Gen_1:26), contemplates both man’s first creation and his being “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him.”
[31] A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Joseph H. Thayer, Copyright ©1977, Baker Book House Company
[32]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[33] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
b  affections: or, passions
[34] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[35] A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Joseph H. Thayer, Copyright ©1977, Baker Book House Company
[36] ibid
[37] Youngblood, Ronald F., General Editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, Consulting Editors, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.
[38] Webster’s Dictionary, 1823 Edition, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers
Meekness
(hw;n][i, prao>thv), a calm, serene temper of mind, not easily ruffled or provoked to resentment (James 3:7, 8). Where the great principles of Christianity have disciplined the soul, where the holy grace of meekness
reigns, it subdues the impetuous disposition, and causes it, trusting in God, both to submit and to forgive. It teaches us to govern our own anger whenever we are at any time provoked, and patiently to bear’ the anger of others, that it may not be a provocation to us. The former is its office, especially in superiors; the latter in inferiors, and both in equals (James 3:13). The excellency of such a spirit appears, if we consider that it enables us to gain a victory over corrupt nature (Proverbs 16:32); that it is a beauty and an ornament to human beings (1 Peter 3:4); that it is obedience to God’s word, and conformity to the best patterns
(Ephesians 5:1 2; Philippians 4:8). It is productive of the highest peace to the professor (Luke 21:19; Matthew 11:28, 29). It fits us for any duty, instruction, relation, condition, or persecution (Philippians
4:11, 12). To obtain this spirit, consider that it is a divine injunction (Zephaniah 2:3; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 6:11). Observe the many examples of it: Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28), Abraham (Genesis 13, 16:5, 6), Moses (Numbers 12:3), David (Zechariah 12:8; 2 Samuel 16:10, 12; Psalm 131:2), Paul (1 Corinthians 9:19). Note how lovely a spirit it is in itself, and how it secures us from a variety of evils; that peculiar promises are made to such (Matthew 5:5; Isaiah 66:2); that such give evidence of their being under the influence of divine grace, and shall enjoy the divine blessing (Isaiah 57:15).
 See Henry, On. Meekness; Dunlop, Sermons, 2:434; Evans, Sermons on the Christian Temper, ser. 29; Tillotson, Sermon on I Pet. 2:21, and on Matthew v. 44; Logan, Sermons, vol. i, ser. 10; Jortin, Sermons, vol. iii, ser. 11. (From CYCLOPEDIA of BIBLICAL, THEOLOGICAL and ECCLESIASTICAL LITERATURE, by James Strong & John McClintock: AGES Software Rio, WI USA Version 1.0 © 2000)
[39]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[40] Morning and Evening Daily Readings by Charles H. Spurgeon (Electronic Edition Lead Editor: Jim VanDuzer), QuickVerse 7.01, Copyright ©2000 by Findex, Inc.
[41]SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851)-LECTURE XXI, by The Rev. Charles G. Finney, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers


[42] New Topical Textbook, by R. A. Torrey, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers
[43]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[44] Exposition on the Entire Bible, by the Rev. John Gill, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers
[45]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Jn 19:30). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[46]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Re 1:17). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[47]1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[48]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[49]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Jn 1:1). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[50]1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[51]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[52]  Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.). Wheaton: Tyndale House.
[53]  The Contemporary English Version : With Apocrypha. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[54] Image snapshot from : ISA basic  2.0  RC 6  Copyright © 2008 André de Mol. All rights reserved.
[55] American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
b  affections: or, passions
[56] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[57] Webster’s Dictionary, 1823 Edition, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers

[58] Figure/image from: http://www.dccsa.com/greatjoy/namesof.htm
[59]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[60] Melchita, fol. 38, 4: Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers
[61] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[62]  The Living Bible. 1997, c1971 (electronic ed.). Logos Library Systems. Wheaton: Tyndale House.
[63]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[64]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[65]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[66] Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, by Matthew Henry, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, Copyright ©2000-2008 by Rick Myers