THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume IV, Number 32 October 15, 2000

Editor..................Joe R. Price


Visit our Web Sites:

Mt. Baker church of Christ: http://www.bibleanswer.com/mtbaker

BIBLE ANSWERS: http://www.bibleanswer.com


 In this issue:


Part IV

IS HOW ONE VIEWS THE "DAYS OF GENESIS ONE" OF LITTLE OR NO IMPORTANCE?

Joe R. Price

 

[I urge you to read the last three bulletins (Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and 8, 2000) for Parts I-III of this material. What follows is a continuation of my reply to the letter contained in the Sept. 24th bulletin. -JRP]

 

Now, look at Exodus 31:12-17:

12 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, Surely my Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

14 'You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death: for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

15 'Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16 'Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

17 'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.'

Shall we change God's word to read:

15 'Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16 'Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.

17 'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six AGES the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh AGE He rested, and was refreshed.' ???

Who gives us the authority to change God's word in this way? The text does not. The context does not. The definition of words does not. The force of the analogy does not. Nothing from God or His word gives us the right to make such presumptuous interpretations which change the force of God's word!

Here, as in Exodus 20:8-11, it is the Hebrew work week which parallels God's creative week. If the days of Genesis 1 are "ages" there is no parallel! The entire analogy fails miserably!

The analogy of Hebrews 4:1-10 is between that of the unfaithful Israelites not entering into the rest of the promised land which God had prepared for them and the eternal rest which God has prepared for those who are faithful to Him. You should attach verse 11 to this context. It will help you see that the "rest" in view here is eternal rest.

As for God's rest, it came on the "seventh day" after He worked six days. Nowhere does the text say that "God is still at rest." Indeed, Jesus said, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working" (Jno. 5:17). Now, was Jesus correct? Had the Father been working? If so, then He was not "still at rest" as you said. Let's believe Jesus, okay?

The point of Hebrews 4:10 is that God did indeed cease His work of creation, and faithful Christians can enter rest from their labors just like God rested from His. But Jesus said the Father has been working "until now" (Jno. 5:17). Therefore, the rest God entered (Heb. 4:4; Gen. 2:2) is not still continuing. It was the seventh "day" of the week of creation! Since then God has been very active, working out His purposes and will (cf. one example: Jer. 31:22).

You have accepted a faulty view of Hebrews 4:1-10, which is trying to prop up a faulty view of Genesis 1. The entire structure, being unsupported in Scripture, cannot stand. Get out of this house of cards before it caves in on you! If you do not, you will lose your faith and the eternal rest promised in Hebrews 4:1, 9-11!

_______, your reason for presenting this material may not be "to show that this view is right," but rest assured that is the reason the sources you have drawn upon have presented it. The very fact that you have presented this view to me at least shows that you think there is merit to it. That is why I have taken a great deal of time and space to respond.

You need to see that we are not must involved in an intellectual exercise here. If that is all the Open Letter amounted to, then it should be condemned. No, the issue at stake is one of accepting and believing what the Bible teaches rather than the wisdom of men which distorts and twists God's word (2 Pet. 3:16; Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Cor. 12:3-4; Rev. 22:18-19).

Whether we can understand the word of God, and how we understand it, is indeed at the heart of fellowship. How can be know we are in fellowship with God if we cannot confidently know what His word teaches us? Please consider 1 John 1:1-7: Our willingness to believe (and obey) the truth which has been declared to us (by the inspired apostles) enables us to not only have fellowship with the apostles of Christ, but also with the Father and the Son (i.e., God - v. 3-4). When we walk in the light of truth we have fellowship with God (v. 7). If we do not abide in His word, we do not have fellowship with God (v. 6).

Again, the emphasis must be this: God expects us to unite upon the basis of truth (Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10). And, the matter is also that error is being taught about Genesis 1. We are not discussing privately held opinions or technical points of interpreting a passage of scripture which does not bear upon our view of God, man and His word. If you disagree with a brother on some point of Romans 9, I encourage you to study it thoroughly and discuss with the one(s) you disagree.

But you say, Genesis 1 has nothing to do with sin, Christ, the church, etc. I have already addressed this in the first part of this letter.

But please remember, _______, that Christ has everything to do with Genesis 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (Jno. 1:1-3) Yes, how we view Genesis 1 says something about how we view Christ. And that, dear brother, has everything to do with fellowship and unity in Him.

Well, I beat you for length! Thanks for patiently reading it and studying its contents with your Bible in hand.

In closing, let me encourage you to be content with the Bible's revelation of truth on this and every other subject which pertains to "life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3). Not everything has been revealed to us, but we can understand and live by what has been given to us (Deut. 29:29). God's word is not a far off mystery that we can only speculate about by way of offering opposing "views" of thought concerning it. It is "very near" us (Deut. 30:11-15). God has seen to that. We can read it, understand it, have personal faith produced by it, and live in the confident hope of eternal salvation as we obey it (Eph. 3:3-4; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 5:8-9; 10:36-39).

I hope and pray that you, along with every Christian, will "be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthily of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col. 1:9-10).

Please let me know if you have questions about what I have written, or if I can help you in any other way.

Thanks again for studying God's word with me.

Sincerely in Christ,

Joe


Sermon Outlines

 

For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS:  http://www.bibleanswer.com/noworry.htm

 

DON'T WORRY, TRUST IN GOD

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:24-34

 

I. WHAT ARE WE COMMANDED TO DO?

A. Seek First (priority / prominence):

1. Kingdom of God -- The rule & reign of God in your life - 1 Pet. 3:15 (Lord).

2. His righteousness -- "The character or quality of being right or just" (VINE, III:298).

 

II. HOW CAN WE DO THIS?

A. Become A Christian.

-Jesus is King of your life - Added to His kingdom - Acts 2:47.

B. Be A Faithful Christian - Heb. 5:8-9; Rom. 12:1; Rev. 2:10; Heb. 3:12-13; Tit. 2:11f

 

III. WHY SHOULD YOU SEEK CHRIST & RIGHT ACTIONS FIRST? - 6:32-33

A. God Promises To Provide Necessities - Psa. 37:25. (1 Tim. 5:8); Lev. 25:3-4, 18-22 (cf. Mal. 3:7-12).

 

IV. GOD-GIVEN REASONS TO NOT BE DISTRACTED FROM PUTTING HIM FIRST IN OUR LIVES (1 Pet. 5:7).

A. The Same God Who Created Life In You Can Be Trusted With The Details Of Your Life - 6:25.

B. Anxiety About Future Hampers Your Efforts Today - 6:26.

C. Anxiety Is More Harmful Than Helpful - 6:27.

D. God Does Not Ignore Those Who Depend On Him - 6:28-30.

E. Anxiety Shows A Lack Of Faith In & Understanding Of God - 6:31-32.

F. There Are Real Challenges God Wants Us To Pursue, & Anxiety Keeps Us From Them - 6:33.

G. Living One Day At A Time Keeps Us From Being Consumed With Anxiety - 6:34 (Jas. 4:15).

-(LIFE APPLICATION BIBLE, p. 1687)

 


 

For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS:   http://www.bibleanswer.com/11_hour.htm

 

ELEVENTH-HOUR LABORERS

Scripture Reading: Matthew 20:1-16

 

This parable illustrates and explains that man's expectations of reward are not the standards used by God to reward man (cf. Matt. 19:16-30).

 

I. GOD IS CONSTANTLY SEEKING THOSE WHO WILL LABOR IN HIS VINEYARD (salvation of souls) - Matt. 20:1-7.

A. God's Eternal Purposes For Human Redemption Confirms This Truth - Eph. 1:4-6; Jno. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Col. 1:19-23; Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9.

B. Disciples Of Jesus Are To Be Looking For More Laborers! - Jno. 9:4; Matt. 9:37-38.

C. Worker In The Kingdom Will Be Rewarded - Matt. 20:2; 1 Cor. 15:58; cf. 19:30; Lk. 17:10.

 

II. HEEDING GOD'S CALL TO BE SAVED - Matt. 20:3-7.

A. We Must Have A Desire To Enter God's Vineyard (Kingdom) & Work (Live) For Him -

2 Cor. 6:1-2.

B. Does This Parable Endorse Death-Bed Repentance? - 20:8-9 -- NO!

 

III. THE REWARD OF OUR LABORS - Matt. 20:8-16 (the parable's point)

A. Our Reward Will Not Be Determined By The Labors & Rewards Of Others - 20:8-12; cf. 2 Cor. 10:12, 17-18; Gal. 6:3-4.

B. Lesson: Beware Of Jealousy In The Kingdom! - Rom. 12:3-8; Matt. 10:42; Rom. 12:15-16.

C. God Is Just & Will Fairly Distribute The Heavenly Reward - 20:13-16 (Rom. 2:6; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:5):

D. All Laborers In God's Vineyard Will Receive A Reward Far Greater Than They Deserve - Lk. 17:10.

 


 The Spirit's Sword is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA

Send all questions/comments to the editor at: ssword@bibleanswer.com