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THE SPIRIT’S SWORD

published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker Hwy Bellingham, WA 98226

Volume V, Number 12 - May 27, 2001

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


Visit our Web Sites:

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

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Link of the Week:  Watchman Magazine


 In this issue:


YOU CAN'T FOOL GOD

You can fool the hapless public,
You can be a subtle fraud,
You can hide your little meanness,
But You can't fool God.

You can advertise your virtues,
You can self-achievement laud,
You can load yourself with riches,
But you can't fool God.

You can criticize the Bible,
You can be a selfish clod,
You can lie, swear, drink, and gamble,
But you can't fool God.

You can magnify your talents,
You can hear the world applaud,
You can boast yourself somebody,
But you can't fool God.

-Author Unknown


NEW HEAVENS, NEW EARTH

Joe R. Price

The basic meaning of the expression "heavens and the earth" is that of a dwelling place, a habitation. In Genesis 1:1 God created "the heavens and the earth" - the physical world - for mankind to inhabit (Gen. 1:26-28).

We later find a similar expression used with a spiritual connotation (Isa. 65:17; 66:22). Isaiah spoke of God creating "new heavens and a new earth" in which all men would come to worship before Him (Isa. 65:17; 66:23). He thus prophesied of the church - the habitation or dwelling place of God's people (cf. Isa. 2:1-4).

God dwells with His people in the church, and they with Him (2 Cor. 6:16-18). Christians are raised out of the death of sin to sit "in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:5-6).

We become citizens of a new kingdom when we are saved in Christ (Col. 1:13). Christians inhabit a new and spiritual realm, the church (Acts 2:47). Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in the church over which Christ reigns and into which we have been transferred (Col. 1:13; Rev. 5:9-10).

The kingdom of Christ, or church, is a dwelling place uniquely different from this earth. It is a spiritual kingdom, the house of God, where peace between God and man exists (Eph. 2:14-22). This world is not my home!

When Peter used the expression "new heavens and a new earth" in 2 Peter 3:13 he is looking forward to yet another dwelling place of God's people - the eternal kingdom, our heavenly home (2 Pet. 1:11). In visionary form, John saw this "new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. 21:1).

Revelation 20:11 and 21:1 speak of the time when this material world is destroyed (2 Pet. 3:10). In its place will be "new heavens and new earth" where God's people will eternally dwell with Him.

In summary, we see the same expression, "heavens and earth" applied first to this material world (Gen. 1:1), then to spiritual kingdom which now exists, the church (Isa. 65:17; 66:22), and finally to the eternal kingdom, our heavenly inheritance (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). In each case it is applied to a habitation created by God for His creation. As His "new creation" (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17), Christians presently inhabit the Messiah's kingdom. In the last, glorious day, Christ will deliver us, His kingdom, unto God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28). In that habitation of righteousness we shall dwell forever (Matt. 25:46).


For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS

 

BIBLE QUESTION BOX

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 8:5-12

Question 1:  "Does Ex. 25:18 (and again in Ex. 37) contradict Ex. 20:4-5?"

  A. The Making Of Graven Images & The Worshipping Of False Gods Was Forbidden In Israel - Exo. 20:4-5.
    1. "You shall not make for yourself…" - Origin, design & use of graven images was (is) purely human - cf. Isa. 44:9-20.
  B. The Items Made For & Put In The Tabernacle Were Approved By God - Exo. 25:18-22.
    1. Divine pattern was given & followed - Exo. 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8 39:32, 42-43.
    2. God chose & inspired the craftsmen to teach & follow His design - Exo. 35:30-36:1; 37:6-9.
    3. They were not designed to be venerated as images are today.
    4. Contrast Isa. 44:9-20 with Exo. 25:18-22:
      a. Isa. 44:9-20 - The idol is nothing, the craftsman is ignorant & the worship of the image (and the god it represents) is vain.
      b. Exo. 25:18-22 - God would meet with Moses & speak with Him there. God is the true God, the craftsmen were inspired by Him, & the worship given there was acceptable (Heb. 9:5).
    5. There is no contradiction between Exo. 20:4-5 & 25:18 - Harmony!
  C. Present-day Icons Are Not Authorized By God - Col. 3:17.
    1. OT law done away in Christ - 2 Cor. 3:14.
    2. Source: Will and wisdom of man - Col. 2:20-23.
    3. Without Christ's authority, it is sin - Matt. 7:21-23; (2 Jno. 9; Gal. 1:8-9).

Question 2:  In the concordance I was using it showed reference to unicorns in the Bible. My NKJV uses the term "wild ox" in each of these passages. How did they arrive at the translation "unicorn" if it is a mythological creature? Just curious…it was unexpected to see "unicorns" in the Bible.

  A. "Unicorn" Is Used 9 Times In KJV OT (Other translations: wild ox, buffalo, reem).
    1. An animal of great strength, with great horns (2, Deut. 33:17) & untamable by man (Job 39:9-10).
    2. Don't know why KJV translators chose to use "unicorn"…Probably due to its mythical greatness & an attempt to convey that in the text.

Question 3:  What were the last words of Jesus?

  A. The Last Words Of Jesus On This Earth - Acts 1:4-9 (cf. Mk. 16:19).
  B. Jesus, By Means Of The NT (Inspired Scriptures), Continues To Speak To All Who Will Listen - Jno. 16:12-15.
  C. We Must Be Careful To "Hear Him" - Matt. 17:5.


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

(Current events in the light of Scripture)

 

Doctors Cut 100-Pounds From Girl's Stomach

Thursday, May 24, 2001 9:25 AM EDT

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian doctors said Wednesday they had successfully removed a 100-pound cyst from the stomach of a 17-year-old girl.
Doctors said the huge cyst had been growing inside Inas Ali Hassan's stomach, causing her breathing problems for the past two years.

"A huge heterogeneous mass was found coming down from the pelvis up to the diaphragm and occupying almost all the abdominal cavity ... pressing everything on its way," said Ali Maher Abou Auf, chief surgeon for the operation.

He said Hassan was recovering well from the "uneventful" two-hour surgery Tuesday and would be released within days. He said it was the first time Egyptian doctors had been faced with such a condition. Copyright 2001 Reuters Limited.

http://news.lycos.com/news/story.asp?section=Entertainment&pitem=ODD-GROWTH-DC&rev=20010524&pub_tag=REUTG

 

BIBLE COMMENTARY
Joe R. Price

It is horrifying to even try to visualize what this girl went through before her surgery!

An equally horrific thought is the insidious way sin can grow within one's life. Starting out as a "whim" or a thought uncontrolled, when left unattended and corrected through repentance it will increase its presence and impact upon the soul. Sin and error spreads like cancer, choking off friendship and fellowship with God (2 Tim. 2:17).

The remedy? Spiritual surgery. We must cut away "the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11). That means the sinner must believe in Christ and confess his faith, repent of his sins and be baptized into Christ for the "remission of sins" (Col. 2:12; cf. Acts 2:36-41; 22:16; Rom. 10:9-10).

Christians who sin need the spiritual surgery of repentance and confession of sins to God to be cured of sin's presence and power (Acts 8:22-24; 1 Jno. 1:9). And, every Christian needs healthy doses of spiritual food - the word of God - to feed, nourish and direct one's soul in righteousness (1 Pet. 2:1-2; Heb. 5:12-14).

If the cancer of sin is still in you apply God's cure now! (Rom. 6:1-7)


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

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