Sunday, January 21, 2018

Its connection with the Atonement

'And the priest shall put of the oil ... upon the place of the blood' (Lev. 14:28)

What does Scripture mean by sanctification? We read and hear much about 'Sanctification of the Spirit', of the 'Higher Life' and many other expressions. We have 'Holiness Meetings', and 'Consecration Services', and we are continually exhorted to 'Touch not, taste not, handle not', until the antichristian 'abstaining from meats' (1 Tim. 4:3) seems to be perilously copied.

Again we say, What is sanctification as presented in the Scriptures? Is it primarily the sanctity of the believer's walk, produced by the Holy Spirit in his life by the Word, or is it first of all the unqualified perfect possession, and blood-bought birthright of every child of God, from the least to the greatest, sanctification wrought by atoning blood? Rome has canonized her 'saints'. Many believers today make no profession of being saints, whereas Scripture applies without distinction this wonderful title to every redeemed sinner. We give a few out of many passages to illustrate this:

'To all that be in Rome (i.e. all believers) beloved of God, called saints' (Rom. 1:7).

'Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints' (1 Cor. 1:2).

'To the saints which are at Ephesus, and faithful ones in Christ Jesus'(Eph. 1:1).

We find next that sanctification, like salvation, is connected with the unalterable, irreversible purpose of electing grace:

'He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him' (Eph. 1:4).

A reference to Ephesians 5:27 and Colossians 1:22 will show that this purpose has been fully established by the Work of Christ:

'That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish'.

'In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable (unreproachable) in His sight'.

Thus it will be seen that the death of Christ procures this wondrous blessing of sanctification, unto which we were chosen before the foundation of the world. In the next Scripture it will be seen that the sanctification of the Spirit is directly connected with the blood of Christ, and the Spirit of God never leads to sanctification apart from this:

'Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ' (1 Pet. 1:2).

This same truth is typically set forth in Leviticus 14 in the cleansing of the leper:

'The priest shall take some of the blood ... and put it upon the tip of the right ear ... and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot' (Lev. 14:14).

'The rest of the oil ... upon the blood ... ' (Lev. 14:17).

'The priest shall put of the oil ... right ear ... thumb ... great toe ... upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering' (Lev. 14:28).

Beware of any so-called sanctification that would apply the Oil without first applying the Blood, or would seek to put the Oil on any other place except 'upon the place of the blood'.

For the benefit of the reader who may not be sure, the words 'saint', 'sanctify', 'holy', 'holiness', are words from the same root in the original of the New Testament.

We have already referred to 1 Corinthians chapter 1, and we turn to it again for further teaching on the subject of sanctification. Verse 29 gives the divine object in the method of salvation. God hath chosen the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised, yea, the things which are not -- 'that no flesh should glory in His presence'. Verse 31 bears a similar witness, 'He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord'. Verse 30 comes in between these statements and reads, 'But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who became to us wisdom from God, both righteousness, and sanctification and ("as well as" Greek particles kai ... te) redemption'. Christ became unto us sanctification precisely in the same way and degree in which He became unto us righteousness. 'He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him' (2 Cor. 5:21). So with sanctification, it is imputed to the believer as absolutely as righteousness is. 'If Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God' (Rom. 4:2). If the children of God were sanctified by their works, 1 Corinthians 1:31 would be nullified.

The subject of 'Progressive Sanctification' is by no means denied by what we have written, any more than the Scriptural doctrine of justification by faith means irresponsible living, or that because we are under grace we may continue in sin. What we seek to do is to put first things first; to lay the foundation before we build the house. The subject of sanctification is several times referred to in the Epistle to the Hebrews. In Hebrews 10:10 we read, 'By the which will we are sanctified through the Offering of the body of Jesus Christ once'.

'By the which will'.-- What does this mean? We have already seen the pre-determining will of God in the sanctification of the believer, but that is not the thought here. The 'which will' makes us look back in the chapter. In Hebrews 10:9 Christ speaks, 'Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God'. It is in (en) the done will of God -- i.e. the obedience of Christ, and through (dia) the Offering of Christ, that believers are sanctified (see again 1 Peter 1:2, 'obedience and sprinkling of blood'). Their 'doing' and the 'presenting of their bodies a living sacrifice', is the outcome -- the fruit of this blessed possession. Hebrews 10:14 contains a wonderful truth. 'For by one Offering He hath perfected into perpetuity (eis to dienekes) them that are sanctified'; truly all the glory is the Lord's.

May we who have died with Christ from the rudiments of the world hold the Head, remember our completeness in Him, set our minds on things above where Christ is, and leave the doctrines and commandments of men, the touch not, taste not, handle not, satisfying of the flesh, and confess to the God of all grace that 'all our springs O God, are in Thee'.

Sanctification, like justification, is primarily and foundationally connected with, and results from the atoning death of Christ. We now seek to show that the resurrection also has a great bearing upon this most important subject. Many of our readers will at once think of Colossians chapter 3. Before quoting from this chapter, however, let us see what leads up to its wonderful teaching. The saints at Colosse, like all the redeemed, were 'perfect', 'complete', 'made meet', and will be 'presented holy' (Col. 1:12-22; Col. 2:10).

Not only had they died with Christ, and been buried with Him, but they were risen with Him, quickened together with Him (Col. 2:12-13), which meant that 'the body of the sins of the flesh' had been 'put off', the divine inference from these passages being, 'Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days' (Col. 2:16); 'Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels' (Col. 2:18); 'Wherefore if ye died with Christ from the religious codes of the world, why as though living in the world are ye subject to ordinances? Touch not (see 1 Cor. 8:1 for meaning, and compare the same element in the false holiness of the apostasy in the last days, 1 Tim. 4:3), taste not, handle not' (Col. 2:20-21).

Here is sufficient to point the contrast between holiness according to God, and holiness according to man. True holiness is only possible in the power of the resurrection. The saved sinner looks back to the cross and sees Christ dying in his stead, and says, 'I died there too'. He looks up to the right hand of God, where Christ sitteth, and says, 'I have been raised together with Him'. This is the argument of Colossians 2 and 3.

'If ye then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (cf. Phil. 3:19-20). For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth' (Col. 3:1-5 author's translation).

In Colossians 2:23 we have the 'neglecting of the body' which leads after all 'to the satisfying of the flesh'. This comprises all the will worship and humility of Rome, with its fastings, penances, and other inventions for the manufacturing of a creature of holiness, right down to those holiness conventions that stress rules and resolutions, badges and slogans. In direct contrast with the 'neglecting of the body' in the wrong sense, we have in Colossians 3:5 the 'mortifying of the members' in the Scriptural sense as being a direct result of being raised with Christ and being occupied with Him. Our life is there and death here. The word translated 'mortify' occurs only in two other passages in the New Testament.

'And without being weakened in faith he considered his own body now as good as dead' (Rom. 4:19 R.V).

'Wherefore also there sprang of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars' (Heb. 11:12 R.V.).

This is the lesson in Colossians 3. Just as Abraham, we also are to see by faith that our sinful selves are as good as dead, and to believe God's verdict that we died with Christ from the law of God as a means of justification, and to all works of the flesh as a means of sanctification.

Instead of the word 'mortify' countenancing ritualistic teaching, it teaches just the opposite. As we feed the new nature we starve the old. As by faith we walk in the power of the 'new man' which has been created in true holiness, we shall 'put off the old man with his deeds'. Apart from the risen Saviour all sanctification is of the flesh, and is 'put on' in a different sense than that meant by the Scriptures.

Some may have observed in a sheltered spot a tree covered with dead leaves, having gone through the winter without actually dropping them to the ground, but when the returning spring forces the new life through the branches, the old leaves must go, being removed by the power of the life within; so to live in the light of Colossians 3:1-4 will of itself bring about the 'mortifying' of verse 5. A glance at verses Col. 3:5-17 of this chapter will show that the believer is called upon to 'walk worthily'; but verses 1-4 come first, and as the other side of the question is that which appears most prominent in the sermons and literature of today, we seek to give prominence to the foundation of all holiness, trusting that then we may build something more acceptable to God. In the Pentateuch we read of 'strange incense' and 'strange fire'. Every time the believer forgets the import of the words 'accepted in the Beloved', every time he is prompted to lean on something apart from Christ, he is preparing 'strange incense' which cannot please God.

Sanctification includes consecration, for resurrection life is preeminently a life unto God. How many times have we reviewed our past and mourned that we have not lived unto God? How many times have we resolved to keep down the flesh and 'yield ourselves' to Him? How many times have we failed? If one may speak for many, we know what a miserable failure it has always been. Let us, therefore, see whether Scripture does not give some surer way of living unto God than we have hitherto discovered.

Of Christ it is written, 'For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth (i.e. in resurrection), He liveth unto God' (Rom. 6:10). Of the believer, it continues, 'Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Rom. 6:11). The power, then, to live unto God comes through believing implicitly the wonderful fullness of the redemptive Work of Christ. It is not trying, but reckoning as God has reckoned, and acting accordingly.

'Whether we live, we live unto the Lord' (Rom. 14:8).

This is connected with Christ's resurrection in verse 9, and with the futility of others' judgment upon such an one with respect to 'eating' and 'observing days' etc., and all the other impositions of men.

'Judging this, that if One on behalf of all died, then all these died also'. 'He died on behalf of all, with the object that those who live (i.e. in resurrection life) should henceforth not live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man according to the flesh ... If any man be in Christ there is a new creation; old things did pass away; behold, there have come into being new things' (2 Cor. 5:14-17 author's translation).

'For I through the law, to law died, with the object that I might live unto God; with Christ I have been crucified, but I live; yet not I, but there liveth in me Christ' (Gal. 2:19-20 author's translation).

These passages of the Word speak more plainly than any comment we can give; life unto God (consecration, sanctification), is found in the sphere of resurrection with Christ. Romans 6:1 commences with the awful question of one who imagines that free grace means licence. We do not doubt that some who read these pages will likewise question our doctrine and say it is 'dangerous'. What answer does the apostle make to the libertine? Does he water down his strong statements? No, he applies them with full force. 'How shall we that died to sin live any longer therein?' It is a matter nothing short of life and death. The question goes deeper, however, in verse 15. 'Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace?' The answer is summarized in verse 22, 'But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life' (see Col. 3:3-4). With this compare verse 13, 'Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God'.

The Epistle to the Galatians deals with the same subject. Under law and in the sphere of the flesh, seeking to be made perfect according to the flesh means bondage (Gal. 3:2-3; Gal. 4:3-5, Gal. 4:9; Gal. 5:1-3). Being under grace means liberty and perfection is in Christ alone. Again the apostle has to meet those who abuse this liberty. He says, 'Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free'. 'For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty' (Gal. 5:1, Gal. 5:13), and then adds,

'Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself' (verses Gal. 5:13-14).

We have already seen that resurrection life is the answer to the question, How may I find power to live unto God? We see here that in this same blessed sphere we are at liberty to fulfil our duties to one another.

In Ephesians 2 we have a further lesson. Eph. 2:10 tells us that, 'We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them'. We are to walk in the works and merits of Christ. We are to work out that which has been worked in; or, as Hebrews 13:21 puts it, 'Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, doing in you that which is well pleasing in His sight'.

May the fact of a risen Saviour at the right hand of God, a life hid with Christ in God, a glorified Head in heaven, our legal death with Christ here, our position as being 'raised together and made to sit together in heavenly places', become more and more to us; and so will the dead leaves and deadly regulations of men fall and fade, leaving us standing and walking by faith, not by sight, looking for that blessed hope, of which, by grace, may we seek to walk worthy.

Let us now consider the teaching of one or two passages in 1 John which show (1) the absolute, and (2) the progressive or responsible aspect of sanctification.

'As He is'. Christ is the center of all the purposes of God's grace. He is the Author, the Perfecter, the Goal. We have seen the connection between resurrection and sanctification. Likeness to our risen Lord is the theme before us now, both during our sojourn here, and in that day when we shall be satisfied upon awaking in His likeness. First, let us briefly 'consider Him'. 'If we walk in the light as He is in the light' (1 John 1:7). 'He is in the light'. Verse 5 declares that 'God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all'. In the full blaze of glory our Saviour stands. Not only is He there by the right of His own Godhead, but He is there because of the perfectness of His atoning work. Nothing but absolute righteousness and perfect holiness could endure the light in which our great Advocate stands. Yet, fellow-believer, weak and failing as we may be in ourselves, that and nothing less is our position in Christ.

1 John 2:29 tells us 'He is righteous'; 1 John 3:3 tells us 'He is pure', emphasizing that which is involved in the statement noted above, 'He is in the light'. 1 John 1:7 commences with a 'but if'; a condition is therefore attached. Before we consider the conditional aspect, let us turn to the verses that reveal the absolute nature of the believer's sanctification 'in Christ'.

'In this hath been perfected the love with us, in order that boldness we may have in the day of judgment, that as He is we also are (though) in this world' (1 John 4:17 author's translation).

God's love to us is the subject under consideration in the verse. The words translated 'in this', are of constant occurrence in John's epistle. In this very chapter they are translated 'hereby' (verse 13), 'herein' (verse 10), and 'in this' (verse 9). To what does the apostle refer when he says 'herein' in verse 17? Does he mean that God's love is perfected in the fact that believers shall have boldness in the day of judgment? Yes -- and yet no -- for this is but a part of the glorious goal. We believe the verse should be read as follows:

'In this is the love with us perfected (in order that we may have boldness in the day of judgment); that as He is so are we in this world'.

The love is perfected in this, that the believer in Christ is as He is. God Himself knows no higher goal for eternity than that the believer shall be as his Lord, and when these bodies of our humiliation are changed for bodies like unto the glorified Lord, then perfect love will have found its goal.

Such is the 'grace wherein we stand'! Every believer equally perfect in Christ! The weakest as the strongest, the babe and the full grown, all are equally and altogether complete in Him. There are no 'ifs' here. This is no more conditional upon our walk and life than is justification. Results will necessarily follow, but let it always be remembered that they follow, not come before. 'He that is righteous (in Christ) doeth righteousness (as a result)'.

As He Is -- We Are (1 John 4:17).

As He Is -- We Shall Be (1 John 3:2).

'We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him'. Again we deal with that which is absolute. 'We shall be like Him', and perfect love will have reached its goal. Can we not better understand the reason why the apostle introduces this marvellous subject with the words, 'Behold what manner of love!' What is to be the outcome of this glorious position? 'Every one that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure'. According to many, possibly among them who read these words, certainty means licence. They think that it is presumption to 'know' that which God has declared. Scripture does not veil the fact that there will always be those who 'turn the grace of God into lasciviousness', but this by no means alters the relations established between 1 John 3:2 and 3.

The reasoning of the heart will be, am I as He is, in Christ? Oh, that I may be more like Him in practice! Am I to be like Him in the future? Oh, for grace to be more like Him now! Keeping 1 John 4:17 in mind, we turn to 1 John 2:5-6. Again we shall read of God's love being perfected, but this time dealing with the conditional side of sanctification:

'But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked' (1 John 2:5-6).

Even in this conditional setting the keeping of the Word is a proof of our being in Him; not that the keeping of the Word either places us in that blessed sphere, or secures us when we are there. By comparing 1 John 4:17 with 1 John 2:5-6 it will be seen that God's love to us, and our love to God, meet together in the Lord Jesus Christ as their great goal; both point forward to likeness to Him. The believer's love to God urges him to seek more conformity to the image of His Beloved Son; and God's love to His people has fixed its goal, perfect likeness to Christ in resurrection glory. Be it noted that this verse does not say, 'We ought to be as He is', but it says, 'We ought to walk as He walked'. 1 John 1:7 speaks of walking in the light. This is how the Lord Jesus always walked whilst here on earth.

In the very presence of God, in the light of the holiest of all; what a standing! what an assurance! No creature preparation or perfectness can avail there; any attempt at such only shows the failure to appreciate the heights of holiness demanded by that light. What is our warrant for daring to walk in this light?

'As He is we are'. Is this 'sinless perfection'? No! If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. If we say we have not sinned we make God a liar. It is not by covering up our sins, neither is it by imagining ourselves to have become sinless that we draw near to the presence of the Lord. No; it is by reason of the wondrous grace that has made us 'accepted in the Beloved', that has 'made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light'. With all our imperfections still upon us, with all our sins of omission and commission, we may draw near, to walk in the light. By this, do we make little of sin? No! God does not, but He has made provision. It is not our walk or talk that will ever keep us fit for His holy Presence, but 'if we walk in the light ... the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin'.

Such is some small fragment of the teaching of these verses. Let us glorify God by believing His Word, and, seeing that by His grace we are (in Christ) as He is, and that as He is we shall be, let us seek by grace to walk as He walked, to walk in the light, to thankfully confess the glorious efficacy of the blood that cleanseth, and to exemplify in some measure the complete sanctification which is ours in Christ Jesus. While we think of the epistle to the Romans when we think of justification, we find that Romans 6:1-14 deals with sanctification under various aspects.

(1) A sphere. It is newness of life.

(2) A condition. It is a union.

(3) A state. Liberty.

(4) How it is apprehended, by reckoning.

(5) It is entirely under grace.

The true sequel of Romans 5:12-21 is Romans 8, where the condemnation brought in by Adam is entirely removed from all who are 'in Christ Jesus'. The Spirit of God, however, knew the heart of man; and how easily even believers may misread liberty for licence, or abuse the overwhelming grace of God. Already the spirit that necessitates Romans 6 and 7 has shown itself. For in Romans 3:7 we have the beginnings of the idea opened up in Romans 6, where the thought that 'the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto His glory' is echoed by the question: 'What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?'

It is not a question of shall I ever fall into sin, or shall I never discover hidden uncleanness, but shall I 'continue in' sin. Epimeno is used in Romans 11:22-23, where it is used of 'continuing in His goodness', and of 'abiding still in unbelief'. In Romans 6:2 the balancing clause to 'continuing in' is 'living in':

'How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?'

Let us notice for our good that the apostle does not temporize with this question. He does not embark upon a lengthy discourse concerning grace; he does not attempt to mitigate the fullness of superabounding grace; he goes straight to the heart of the matter, revealing it to be a matter of life and death.

Grace is grace because of righteousness, so teaches Romans 5:21: 'Even so might grace reign through righteousness', and the only way that grace could reign through righteousness is for sin to have been dealt with righteously, and we know that the wages of sin is death.

Answer to first objection

The answer to the question of Romans 6:1 is found in 6:3-14. Verse 2 is not so much an answer as a refusal to admit the validity of the objection that superabounding grace will encourage laxity of morals. The close of verse 14 corresponds with verse 2 in setting the objection aside as incompatible with the 'grace wherein we stand'. The answer (3-14) is divided into three main sections:

(1) Identification of the believer in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (3-10). This we shall discover is subdivided into three features.

(2) Reckoning of the believer that all this is true.

(3) Practical results of this identification and reckoning: 'Let not', 'Yield not'.


Dead to sin

There is a system of teaching that appears to take these words as meaning abstaining from, resisting, mortifying sin, in which there can be degrees of 'depth'. Hence the expression: 'to die more and more unto sin'. There is most truly an experimental entering into the death of Christ, but we are persuaded such is not intended here. In Romans 6:2, Rom. 6:7-9 the verb 'to die' is not thnesko, but apothnesko, 'to die out, to expire, to become quite dead'. Moreover, it is the actual death of Christ that is in view, 'His death' (3 and 5), death 'with Christ' (8), and it is death 'to sin'. Here again we need care. It is not death to the power of sin, but death to its guilt that is here intended. Our death to sin is not mentioned here as of our conduct or our character, but of our State before God. The R.V. recognizes the aorist tense, and translates the passage, 'We who died to sin', in place of the A.V., 'We that are dead to sin'. Into the vexed question of the true rendering of the Greek aorist we cannot go. On verse 7 Dr. Weymouth gives the following note, which is of weight:

'Lit. "has died"; not "is dead". The distinction cannot be expressed in Latin or French, but can in English and in Greek. The classical scholar will find an excellent example in Euripides, Alc. 541 "Those who have died (aorist) are dead (perfect)"'.

Up to Romans 5:11 the burden of the epistle has been justification by faith. Rom. 5:12-21 adds its quota of superabounding grace, and when the apostle says in Rom. 6:2: 'How shall we who died to sin live any longer therein?' he is not introducing some new aspect of death, but referring to what has already been established. In other words, he replies to the objection by saying, Justification by faith cannot lead to living in sin, for the simple reason that justification is based upon death to sin and guilt. The fact that Paul uses, in verse 10, the same expression of Christ Himself: 'In that He died, He died unto sin once', shows that he had in view death to its guilt. As Calvin says:

'The very form of the expression, as applied to Christ, shows that He did not, like us, die to sin for the purpose of ceasing to commit it'.

The Lord was never under the power of sin. He took the guilt of sin that belonged to us, and for that He died:

'He that is dead (has died) is freed from sin' (Rom. 6:7).

The word translated 'is freed' is dedikaiotai, the perfect tense of the verb dikaioo, 'to justify'. It is most important that this word noted in the margin should be reinstated: 'Justified from sin'. Romans 3:20-30 is the classic passage on Justification, and there dikaioo is used five times. Rom. 5:9 sums up the matter by saying: 'Being now justified by His blood'. In Rom. 6:2 the apostle declares that the believer 'died to sin'. In Rom. 6:7 he reveals the glorious result of that death -- 'he is justified'.

Newness of life

The full truth is that when He died, we died; when He was buried, we were buried; and being dead and buried our hope both now during the life which we live in the flesh (Gal. 2:20), and in the future glory in the life to come, is entirely dependent upon Him. If that risen life is also ours, then even now we may 'walk in newness of life' (Rom. 6:4). If it is not, being dead and buried, we can do nothing but wait amid a groaning creation for the redemption of the body. The walk in newness of life is our experimental answer to His resurrection.

The first note in the chord of sanctification has now been struck. Instead of 'living in sin' we who have died to sin may 'walk in newness of life'. This is more than 'a new life', for the abstract word kainoteti conveys the idea of 'newness'. There are two words in the Greek for 'new': kainos (that gives us 'newness' in Rom. 6:4) and neos. Both come together in Colossians 3:10: 'And having put on the new man (neos) being renewed (anakainoo)':

In other words, we have put on the new, young, rejuvenate man, fresh, vigorous, prime, with all the glorious future stretching out in its limitless possibilities by the grace of God, and have been renewed with a life that standing beside the empty tomb looks back at a past, dead, buried, excluded, finished. Neos turns our faces toward Christ, the last Adam, kainos looks back to the first Adam. The one says "life has begun", the other "that life has finished".

Sanctification demands newness of life -- if so, how then can anyone think of 'continuing in sin' that grace may abound? We may all take to ourselves the words of the apostle, making them a prayer where we cannot state them as an experience:

'I ... am dead to the law (as Rom. 6 "dead to sin") ... I am (have been) crucified with Christ (as Rom. 6 "the old man was crucified with Him"): nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God ("newness of life"), Who loved me, and gave Himself for me' (Gal. 2:19-20).

Sanctification. A condition: union (Rom. 6:1-14)

The first item in the doctrine of sanctification which we have established is 'newness of life'. True, 'death to sin' must precede this new life, but death to sin is not sanctification, any more than a good concrete foundation is a dwelling house. Power for sanctification is life, and the study now before us is to discover from the passage as to what that life is, and how its power may be received, and its effects:

'For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is (was) crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin' (Rom. 6:5-7).

The R.V. alters the reading 'planted together' to 'become united with', and this is undoubtedly the meaning. 'Planted together' would truly describe a row of lettuces, but each plant would nevertheless be independent; the word sumphutos used here indicates something more intimate, more akin to 'grafting' than 'planting'. The word is used in the LXX of Amos 9:13 for 'melt', and is employed by Xenophon to describe the 'growing together' of man and horse known as the 'centaurs' of ancient myth. The R.V. margin is closest of all to the truth of the passage, and is the rendering of Alford:

'If we have become united with the likeness of His death, so shall we be also with His resurrection'.

There is a real link between 'united' and 'likeness', the contrasted thought being found in Romans 8:3:

'For that which was not in the power of the law, because it was weak through the flesh, God (did), having sent His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and on account of sin condemned sin in the flesh' (Author's translation).


The Lord had a nature like our sinful nature, but had not Himself a sinful nature. If the apostle had not used the word 'likeness', it would have appeared that Christ partook of sinful flesh, which, of course, He did not. So the believer is united to the Lord in the 'likeness' of His death, for that death itself allows of no possible partner. He suffered alone, and suffered once for all. He died actually and literally, that we might be reckoned to have died with Him. Moreover, as we shall see in the next verse, 'the likeness of His death' is most certainly a reference to the kind of death He died, namely, not an honorable death, nor the death of an acclaimed victor, but the death of a slave, the death of the accursed, death by crucifixion. All this is included in the original statement of verse 2, 'dead to sin'.

It is of the utmost importance that we shall realize the place that union with Christ occupies in this great doctrine of sanctification. Here, in the short compass of four verses, we have such extraordinary expressions as: 'baptized into His death'; 'buried with Him'; 'united with Him'; 'crucified with Him'; 'like as Christ'; and 'the likeness' of His death. Union with Christ is the very essence of sanctification:

'For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are All Of One ... as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same' (Heb. 2:11-14).

He was made 'in the likeness of men' (Phil. 2:7).

Sanctification. A state: freedom (Rom. 6:1-14)

We have seen that sanctification has a sphere -- 'newness of life', and a condition -- 'unity with the likeness of His death and resurrection'; we now proceed to the consideration of a third feature, a state -- 'liberty'.

Verse 6, where our study is resumed, ends with the words: 'that henceforth we should not serve sin'. From this point to the close of the chapter we have many references to 'servants' (literally 'slaves') who were once under an awful dominion, but are now 'free'. With chapter 7 comes a change of figure, from that of a slave to that of a married woman under the law, who is set 'free' from her marriage and all its obligations by the death of her husband. This is appropriately brought to a conclusion in verse 6 with service 'in newness of spirit'.

The following passages will help us to see how prominently 'freedom' and 'servitude' figure in these chapters; in each case one of the verbal forms of eleutheros is used:

'Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness' (Rom. 6:18).

'For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness' (Rom. 6:20).

'But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God' (Rom. 6:22).

'If her husband be dead, she is free from that law' (Rom. 7:3).

'For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death' (Rom. 8:2).

'Because the creature itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God' (Rom. 8:21 author's translation).

We must now look at the various derivations of the word translated 'bondage':

'That henceforth we should not serve sin' (Rom. 6:6).

'Servants to obey, his servants ye are' (Rom. 6:16).

'Ye were the servants of sin' (Rom. 6:17).

'Ye became the servants of righteousness' (Rom. 6:18).

'Servants to uncleanness ... servants to righteousness unto holiness' (Rom. 6:19).

'When ye were the servants of sin' (Rom. 6:20).

'Now ... (having) become servants to God' (Rom. 6:22).

'We should serve in newness of spirit' (Rom. 7:6).

'With the mind I myself serve the law of God' (Rom. 7 25).

'Ye have not received the spirit of bondage' (Rom. 8:15).

'Shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption' (8:21).

How is this freedom attained, and what is the nature of the bondage from which it liberates? The first part of the question is answered in Romans 6:7; the second in Rom. 6:14 and Rom. 8:21:

'He that is dead is freed from sin' (Rom. 6:7).

Dominion nullified

'Crucifixion with Christ' is set forth in Romans 6:6 as having a specific object in view: 'to render the body of sin inoperative' (katargeo). There are five other occurrences of this word in Romans 3:3, Rom. 3:31; Rom. 4:14; Rom. 7:2, Rom. 7:6) where it is rendered 'make without effect', 'make void', 'loosed from sin' and 'delivered from'. In no case can the word 'destroy' in its true sense be rightly substituted. The following passages give some further A V. renderings of the word:

'To bring to nought' (1 Cor. 1:28).

'Come to nought' (1 Cor. 2:6).

'Done away'; 'Abolished' (2 Cor. 3:7,11,13,14).

'Make ... of none effect' (Gal. 3:17).

'Become of no effect' (Gal. 5:4).

'Then is the offence of the cross ceased' (Gal. 5:11).

'Who hath abolished death' (2 Tim. 1:10).

'Destroy him that had the power of death' (Heb. 2:14).

Logizomai: Reckon

To return, then, to our theme: How is the believer to make these blessings something more than a part of a creed, and so believe them that his knowledge shall be neither barren nor unfruitful? The answer is found in Romans 6:11: 'Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin; but alive unto God, through Christ Jesus our Lord'.

As the true meaning of the word 'reckon' is vital to our appreciation and appropriation of the work of Christ, no pains must be spared to arrive at as true and complete an understanding of it as possible. Logizomai 'to reckon', comes from leloga, the middle perfect of lego, 'to gather or collect' as in 1 Corinthians 16:1,2. Its proper meaning is to reckon arithmetically. The usage of the word in the New Testament will enable us to get some idea of its general bearing:

(1) To Reason Or Argue Rationally.

'They reasoned with themselves' (Mark 11:31).

'When I was a child ... I thought as a child' (1 Cor. 13:11).


(2) To Infer, Conclude Or Balance After Hearing Reason.

'Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith' (Rom. 3:28).

'I reckon that the sufferings of this present time' (Rom. 8:18).

'Accounting that God was able to raise him up' (Heb. 11:19).


(3) To Think.

'And thinkest thou this, O man?' (Rom. 2:3).


(4) To Account.

'Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ' (1 Cor. 4:1).

'Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves' (2 Cor. 3:5).

'To him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean' (Rom. 14:14).

'He was reckoned among the transgressors'(Luke 22:37).

'We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter' (Rom. 8:36).


(5) To Impute.

'Unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works' (Rom. 4:6).

'Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin' (Rom. 4:8).

'To whom it shall be imputed, if we believe' (Rom. 4:24).


(6) To Impute For (logizomai eis).

'Shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?' (Rom. 2:26).

'Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness' (Rom. 4:3).

'His faith is counted for righteousness' (Rom. 4:5).

'The children of the promise are counted for the seed' (Rom. 9:8).

While we have not given every occurrence of the word, we believe we have accounted for every phase of its meaning. It will be observed in Romans 4 that where sin and righteousness are being dealt with, these are 'imputed'; but where faith is being dealt with, it is 'imputed for'. Faith is not righteousness; it is 'reckoned for' righteousness. In Romans 6:11 there is no 'imputing for'; it is as actual and real as the imputation of sin to a sinner.

When we were considering the usage of the words 'crucify with', we observed that it was Luke who recorded the incident of the dying thief, and thus illuminated the doctrine which the words implied. This is as we might expect, if it is true that Luke was raised up to work with Paul. So here, again, it is Luke who gives us the one clear passage that bears most upon our theme. Let us give the passage, Luke 22:37 in full:

'For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning Me have an end'. (The verb, 'to be accomplished', is teleo; the noun, 'end', is telos).

The Lord declared that something that was written, was to be accomplished. Where is this written prophecy recorded? The reference is to Isaiah 53:12:

'He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors'.

Earlier in this chapter the prophet had said:

'He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed' (Isa. 53:5).

The things concerning Him had an 'end', not merely a termination, but a goal, something attained and accomplished. When the Saviour cried with a loud voice, 'It is finished', the words meant more than that His sufferings were at last ended; they meant that He had finished the Work which the Father had given Him to do. In Romans 6 we stand looking at that finished Work. He died for sin, He died to sin, and He rose again, the Victor over death. With Him we also died to sin; with Him we rose again victors over death. We were buried 'into His death' and so became 'in Christ'. And just as surely as He was 'reckoned' (or 'numbered') among the transgressors, so are we to 'reckon also ourselves' to have died unto sin, and to be alive unto God in Him.

Sanctification. 'Under grace' (Rom. 6:12-14)

We now have, for the first time in the epistle, an exhortation:

'Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace' (Rom. 6:12-14).

In these three verses we have three features:

The exhortation negatively: 'Let not'; 'yield not'.

The exhortation positively: 'Yield yourselves and your members'.

The assurance positionally: 'Under grace'.

Rendering in modern speech is suggestive 'Let not sin therefore reign as king in your mortal bodies, causing you to be in subjection to their cravings; and no longer lend your faculties as unrighteous weapons (tools or implements) for sin to use.

On the contrary, surrender your very selves to God as living men who have risen from the dead, and surrender your several faculties to God, to be used as weapons (tools or implements) to maintain the right'.

In the epistle to the Hebrews, we observe that it is at the point where doctrinal instruction ends that exhortation begins. 'Having therefore ... let us ... let us ... let us' (Heb. 10:19-24). And so it is in Romans 6 as it must ever be.

The word 'reign' includes in its scope the word 'king', just as 'dominion' carries with it the thought of the 'Lord'. These verses in Romans 6 refer back to Rom. 5:12-21:

(1) Death reigned (Rom. 5:14)

Through Adam.

(2) Sin reigned (Rom. 5:21)

(3) Grace reigns (Rom.5:21)

Through Jesus Christ.

(4) Believers reign (Rom.5:17)

The Lord

'Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness (or taking it to its logical conclusion in practice) in the fear of God' (2 Cor. 7:1).

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Good Newsflash

Did you know that The Great Mystery or Secret was hid in God from Ages and Generations until it was first revealed to the Apostle Paul?  Ephesians 3:9 states "And to make all {men} see what {is} the fellowship of The Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"  Click to read more.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. In John 16:12,13 we read, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth . Does this refer to the administration of the mystery?

In Eph 3:1-4 the apostle Paul makes it clear that it was by a special administration of the grace of God that he was the sole recipient of the gospel of the mystery which he might give to the Gentiles. Down in verse 8 he speaks of himself as less than the least of all saints, but that he should make known the administration of the mystery. The 12 had a part in the administration of promise. They are to sit with Christ in the millennium and judge the nations of the earth and evangelize them. The Church of the mystery has no such mission. The 12 have their names written in the foundations of the New Jerusalem which is to be here on the earth. There were things that the 12 could not bear to hear at that time, but which had reference to further truth in the administration of promise. There was a perfection to be attained in that administration as well as in the other. They were to be given all the truth that they would need to proclaim the coming of the King and His kingdom during the period of the Acts.

2. Some claim that the term Israel refers to the 10 tribes and that Jew refers to Judah (with Benjamin and Levi). Is this true?

The Word of God makes no such distinctions. This is another example of men bending the truth to fit the lie. The 10 tribes were in Persia at the time of Esther, yet in that book they are called Jews 6 times. Our Lord came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, according to His own words. But some would have you believe that the 10 tribes were in Ireland at that time. Did the Lord go to Ireland seeking them? Paul said he was a Jew (Acts 22:3) yet he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Our Lord Himself was a Jew (John 4:9) while Nathaniel called Him the King of Israel (John 1:49). If you use the concordance, you will find many more examples.

3. I still have a little difficulty about the deity of Christ. Where does He come out and say that He was God?

May I ask, Where did the Lord ever come out and say that He was the Messiah of Israel? The signs and the testimony were sufficient and those who could read the OT and see the signs had all the testimony they needed. It is the same with the deity of Christ. Every attribute of God is also attributed to Him. So where is the difficulty? There is no lack of proof, but there is a great lack of belief. That was also Israel's trouble. As for Scripture references look at John 1:18, John 5:18-27, John 8:23-24, John 10:30-38, John 20:28, Eph 3:9 and there are many others.

4. If people do not really die, then why did the Lord say, Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19)?

It was not God that said, Ye shall not surely die, but Satan (Gen 3:4). All in Adam do die. Man's only hope for survival is in resurrection. All in Christ will be made alive. He is the first fruits of them that slept. No hope is given for those outside of Christ.

5. Does the Holy Spirit indwell the believer of this age, those in the administration of the mystery? If so, why?

Yes. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit (new nature within), that we are the children of God. Although found in Romans 8:16 this statement is undispensational, truth for all time. Verse 9 tells us that if we do not have the spirit, the new nature, we are none of His. And verse 11 tells us that there is a quickening here and now in our bodies, in our lives, that comes from this indwelling spirit. So it is this indwelling Spirit that seals the believer (Eph 1:13) and it is this indwelling Spirit that can be grieved (Eph 4:30). It is by this indwelling Spirit that God can make The Church, the temple, which is the body of Christ, His habitation (Eph 2:22). The vain and foolish philosophies of the Gnostics of course would have no place for this doctrine.

6. What is this mystery in Romans 16:25 which had been hid since the ages began?

This is not the mystery that had been hid in God from ages and generations which you will find in Colossians and Ephesians. The context of this verse reveals that it is the mystery of Christ which Paul is preaching to the Romans. The mystery of Christ began with the creation in Gen 1:1 of which we find later He is the Creator. Eph 3:3-5 tells of the mystery of Christ. It was known to the sons of men in past ages. But not as fully as when Paul finishes the Word of God, the canon of Scripture, showing Christ to be Head of The Church which is His body. Romans 16:26 tells that this mystery of Christ is manifested by the Scriptures of the prophets. Now the prophets of Eph 4:11 had not written Scriptures at this time of writing. A part of the mystery of Christ is well set forth in Isaiah 53. In fact all the Scriptures speak of Him and further reveal the mystery concerning Him. And in Romans, Christ is brought out as a federal head in contrast to Adam, showing that by Adam came sin and death, but the hope of resurrection by Jesus Christ. So Romans 16:25 tells nothing about the great secret or mystery which had been hid from ages and generations in God that the Salvation of God is now sent to the Gentiles.

7. What is the gospel of the grace of God in Acts 20:24?

It is the gospel of the uncircumcision that we find mentioned in Acts 15 and also in Gal 2:7. It is the good news that the Gentiles could become a part of the congregation of Israel and partake of their blessings (Romans 15:27) without being under the law. So in that early church the Jew walked by law, the Gentile by grace.

8. What gospel must one preach today lest he be accursed (Gal 1:9)?

No one can be accursed today for preaching any so-called gospel. For one to be accursed, he had to be subject to the law. Israel and the law are set aside today and so no one has been accursed for about 1900 years. Where there is no law, no sin can be imputed. We are under grace today.

9. Why at the end of the prophecy of Jonah does it speak of over 120,000 children and then mention much cattle? What can be the connection?

God definitely said by the mouth of Jonah that He was going to destroy Nineveh in 40 days. There were no conditions or if's about it. But the people, including the king, believed God and they repented. So God in mercy and kindness did not do what He said He was going to do. No one can find fault with a judge that will excuse one at the bar thru mercy. We have 2 other instances of like doing by the Almighty. Adam did not die the day he ate of the fruit, and God did not destroy Israel and make a nation from Moses and his family as He said He would. The sentence was lifted in mercy each time. But there is something there to connect the children and the cattle. In Ecc 3:19,20 we see that in dying there is no difference between man and beast, and they go to the same place. But we also find in Deut 8:3 that even though man was barred from the tree of life, he can live by faith, by believing what God has said. These children were not yet old enough to believe unto life, so like the cattle they would have no resurrection.

10. What does repentance have to do with salvation? What is it?

According to the usage of the word, it means a change of mind, and that for the better. We cannot read any more than that into the word. It does not occur in John's gospel which is the great salvation book for the human race today. But it is obvious that if a man believes, he has changed his mind from unbelief. However, the word repentance is used much more in the case of those who belong to God and rarely of those who do not believe. It was Israel that was called to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Today this word has lost much of its original meaning and most folks think it means penance. But the word penance cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. It is not there.

11. Did Paul write any epistles while in the prison at Caesarea?

There is no evidence that he did. And there is strong evidence that he did not. When Paul's testimony was not received at Jerusalem, the Lord said to him, Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. This cannot be said of Caesarea, for it was not far from Jerusalem. Paul's ministry was in Asia, Europe, and ended at Rome.

12. Can it be true„that God will raise up the unbelievers in their original bodies, punish them, and then destroy them?

Resurrection or raising up these people would be an act of creation. Does God create sin or sinners? Would that be according to His attributes? Furthermore why should He punish them? They were slaves of sin and could not help themselves. Also 2Cor 5:19 tells us that Christ died for their sins and no trespasses are imputed. So there is no reason for punishment. The question is just this; What part would this play in redemption?

13. It says in 2Cor 5:18 that all things are of God. Does this include sin and death and also Satan himself?

In the verse before, it says that old things have passed away for the believer and that all things have become new. So all things that are of God are these new things. Never neglect the context. If all things were unlimited, as some suggest, then we can go back to Ecc 1:2 and prove that all things are vanity. But in that case it is the human labors referred to in verses 3-8 that are vanity. Always look for the antecedent.

14. What does the Bible say about birth control?

Nothing, absolutely nothing. There are some things written in 1Cor 7 which seem to pertain to the subject, but it is in view of the coming tribulation and is in keeping with what is revealed in Matt 24:19. After Acts 28:28 Paul advised the younger widows to marry and no longer spoke of the coming distress which was postponed.

15. How did the tradition get started that the church began at Pentecost?

Rome said so. There is no other evidence either historical or Biblical.

16. Some say that Paul never proclaimed the kingdom of God, but preached only the mystery. What is the evidence?

Paul was told first of all by the risen Lord to preach the things which he had seen (Acts 26:16). What he had seen was what the 12 and others were doing. So if Paul preached only the mystery, then we will have to say the same of the 12 and also of Stephen whom Paul heard. In Acts 17:7 the men of Thessalonica heard Paul preach and reported that he preached another King instead of Caesar. Evidently Paul was preaching the kingdom, the same as the 12, up to Acts 28:28.

17. Did not Paul begin a new ministry when he turned to the Gentiles in Acts 13:46? Was not this the beginning of the church?

If you read the next verse you will find that Paul quotes from Isaiah 49:6 for his authority to turn to the Gentiles. Then this was no mystery or secret hid from ages and generations.

18. What was the purpose of the ministry of Peter in the house of Cornelius?

We must note some things that are not true in order to appreciate that which is true. Nothing is said about Cornelius attending temple or synagogue. All we know is that he was a centurion at the head of an Italian band of soldiers and that he was devout, feared God, gave alms to poor Jews, and prayed to God always. This sums up all we know about him. Even after his experience at the preaching of Peter there is nothing said about him, whether he went to the temple or synagogue or whether he ever joined with the band of Christians at Jerusalem or elsewhere. With that out of the way, we can see that this was a preparation for Paul and his ministry to Gentiles during the Acts period of time.

19. How shall I choose a church or place of worship to attend?

In John 4 you will find that this was also the question of the Samaritan woman. And what was the answer? But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. So today worship has no place designated, but the quality is stressed. It is to be a true spiritual worship. What better place to start it than in the home?

20. You have said that John was preaching to Israel only. What proof do you have for saying that?

Acts 13:24.

21. What would be the condition of our country if there had been no churches? Have they not been a great force in keeping our civilization?

We have a great many people today who have gotten all mixed up and they equate civilization and salvation. There are many ministers today dedicated to the task of saving our society at any cost. We have the do-gooders who want to improve the world and the old nature of man so that he will finally reach the peak of evolution and become as God and be fit for heaven. It is true that the churches have improved and preserved a moral tone of our civilization. But that does not save men. Billy Sunday once said, "There is no difference between the up-and-out and the down-and-out. They are all out." That is right. So we cannot say how many would have been saved today without the churches. Many are being saved in spite of them. We do not know how much of the message of salvation would have been preserved in the families of our country if there had been no churches. We just cannot answer your question, for there is no way of knowing. Conditions might have been better or they might have been worse as far as true worship is concerned. Speculation is useless.

22. What are the basic differences between the kingdom and the church?

The kingdom is a part of the promise made to Abraham and pertains primarily to Israel; but The Church is made up of nations without any distinctions. The kingdom will have a King; The Church has a Head. The kingdom is to be here on the earth where David's kingdom was with Jerusalem as the great world center; The Church has its place in the heavenlies. The kingdom has laws; The Church walks by grace. In the kingdom there is a promise of a bride; but The Church is the body of Christ of which He is the Head. But there is one great common truth; all are saved by grace.

23. Is it true that the nation Israel must repent before the Lord can set up His kingdom?

From the human standpoint, Yes. For prophecy tells us that they will mourn and that they will say blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. From God's standpoint, the day cannot be hastened. He will come in the fullness of time.

24. It is said in Rev 1:7 that when the Lord comes every eye shall see Him. Does this mean that all people of all ages will be there to see?

This is a figure of speech, synedoche, where a part is used for the person. Only those who have eyes and can see with them when He comes will see Him. Dead folks cannot see. And some living folks may be blind. They will not see either. We have a similar figure in Ph’p 2:10 where at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord. This points to a time farther on than that in Revelation. But it will all be voluntary and only the living and the resurrected will do it. No one will be forced to bow. There are many other Scriptures in which this figure can be found.

25. Is not Christ reigning as King now in the heavens and will not this rule continue? How come some say that he is coming down to earth again to Jerusalem and rule over the nations here?

At the present time Satan and his angels are in the heavens. They will be cast out in the midst of the last week of the 70 weeks determined on Israel (Dan 9:24). This is described in Rev 12:9. So it is patent that Christ is not supreme ruler in the heavens now, but rather that He is hid (Col 3:3), and that whenever Christ is manifested in the heavens the members of His church (not the bride) will be manifested with Him (Col 3:4): That is the hope of The Church of the administration of the mystery. But Christ will come and reign on the earth on the throne of His father, David. In Acts 1:6 the apostles wanted to know if the kingdom was going to be set up at that time. Now since the kingdom is primarily of Israel and they are to be a blessing to the nations of the earth, how will the Lord and Israel reign over the earth as pictured in Psalms 2 if they are in heaven? It is wise to take what the Word says instead of trying to force some private interpretation upon it, or change it.

26. Was the prophecy of Joel fulfilled at Pentecost and the kingdom established there and then?

No, the prophecy has not been fulfilled yet. At Pentecost the Spirit was not poured out upon all flesh in Mt. Zion and Jerusalem. There were many Roman soldiers that did not even know about it. There were no wonders in heaven and signs in the earth at that time. There was no change in the sun and the moon. True, Peter spoke of it as the last days when these things should happen, but many years later John says that he is in the last days (1 John 2:18), and Peter many years later speaks of the last days as still future (2 Peter 3:3). At Pentecost Peter mentions the prophecy of Joel merely to show that what was working in the apostles was the same Spirit as Joel spoke about. Peter did not say that Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled. The Lord's house was not established (Isaiah 2) but was totally destroyed shortly later. David's throne has not been occupied by Christ yet. No kingdom was set up and the apostles set on thrones.

27. What is a mortal sin?

It is a sin unto death (1John 5:16). Under the law, murder was a sin unto death. In the case of Ananias and Sapphira lying unto the Holy Spirit was a sin unto death. In 1Cor 11:30 Paul speaks of some who sin and are sickly, and some even died. That was a sin unto death. Mortal sin was never spoken of a Gentile. It was to those under the law. Today the law is not in effect, so we see no examples as above among Christians.

28. Should a Christian go to war?

When Jews who had hired out as soldiers came to John at the Jordan, he baptized them, but never told them to quit the army. Our Lord healed the son of a centurion, but never told this man to quit warfare. Peter was in the house of Cornelius, but there is no record that he told Cornelius to leave the army. No Scripture can be quoted for either side, except that we are to be subject to the powers that be. One who is in the will of the Lord and trusts Him, will have no difficulty with the question. The Lord will put him where he wants him, whether it be on the battle front or in some peaceful occupation. Such questions as this are from the fearful and unbelieving.

29. Can Satan leave hell and wander on the earth at will?

There is no Scripture that says or even hints that Satan was ever in hell or ever will be. At the present time he is just where he has always been from the time of his creation. Some day he will be cast down from that position in heaven to the earth with no power to ascend to heaven again. Hell is for those who are made of the dust of the earth. Satan is not such a creature.

30. What about men taking upon themselves the title of Reverend?

This word occurs in Scripture just once, Psalms 111:9. It is used of the name of God. It is blasphemous for man to take to himself that which pertains to God and His holy name.

31. Did our Lord wear long hair when here on the earth among men?

No. Unless a man were a Nazarite, it was a shame for him to have long hair (1Cor 11:14). Our Lord was not a Nazarite, for a Nazarite was not permitted to drink wine, and our Lord did.

32. Can a Christian become wealthy?

There is no reason why he cannot. Of course those who take the story or parable of the rich man and Lazarus as literal, make it mandatory that one has to get rid of all personal property and beg if he is to be saved. But there is no premium on poverty in God's Word. Abraham was wealthy and was a friend of God. David was wealthy and he was a man after God's own heart. Isaac and Jacob both were wealthy. Solomon had much wealth. And Joseph who buried the Lord was reputed to be the wealthiest Jew of the time. Wealth can be a curse, and it can be a blessing. But poverty can make a man steal. We have wealthy men today who have contributed much to the spread of the gospel.

33. I hear that you teach that there are two churches instead of one. Is this true?

Why not read what we write and see for yourself? From time to time we have written about the 7 churches in Asia. We have recognized that there was a church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38). We have taken note of the fact that the Lord was going to build His church on a rock (Matt 16:18). And besides these were the churches at Rome, Corinth, and many other places to which Paul addressed letters. But it is noteworthy that after Acts 28:28 the word church is never in the plural and it is The Church, not A church. And every church is a body. So today there is one body (Eph 4:4), One Church.

34. According to 1Cor 16:1 should there be a collection taken up in the meeting each Sunday?

There is one collection only in this passage. It is for the saints at Jerusalem. These saints were believing Jews. This one collection was to be taken up on the first of the weeks. The word day is not in the Greek. This is the first week after the Passover. Paul would then take up this collection and carry it with him to Jerusalem.

35. What is this resurrection in Php 3:11?

The out resurrection from among the dead is the prize of the high calling and is for those who have remained faithful and suffered like unto the suffering of Jesus Christ. Paul is saying he is not sure if he will attain to it so as to show it is a prize for believers that suffer and remain faithful to the end and to contrast it with other hopes and resurrections taught by the apostle. In Hebrews 11 he does speak of some who attained to a better resurrection. But they were of a different administration. It is not the resurrection that is the result of believing and obtaining everlasting life. For that is by faith, and not by attainment. By 2 Timothy Paul is confident of attaining the prize and also knows his life shall soon end by the hands of his captors.

36. I have heard, life defined as union with Christ and death as separation from Christ. Does this fit the Scriptures?

Try it for yourself. Read Romans 6:1-10 and use these definitions for life and death. Does this fit?

37. I notice that in the records of the baptism of our Lord in Jordan, that it says that He came up out of the water. Does this mean that He was immersed in the water?

Not necessarily. A river flows, as a usual thing in a bed, for water seeks the lowest level possible. So to get into the river it was necessary to go down into the water and to get out, meant going up out of the water.

38. Who are the other sheep of John 10:16?

The word other is allos which means others of the same kind. Since Israel are the sheep and these are of the same kind, they cannot be Gentiles. That fold ceased to exist at Acts 28:28. There is no fold now. But God will deal with Israel again some day and then there will be another fold and other sheep, not the same ones of this fold in John 10. The present era is between the folds. For, other references to these sheep, see Matt 22:9,10 and 24:31. Are not these all the same?

39. How is it that you teach Pauline doctrine, but do not advocate the Lord's table (1Cor 10 & 1l)?

We do not teach Pauline doctrine for the simple reason that there is no such thing. Paul preached 4 separate gospels during his ministry. In 1Cor 10 and 11 Paul is writing to Jewish believers whose fathers had crossed the Red Sea (10:1). And the feast he is talking about is the Passover which was observed in the homes, not in public. This feast was a supper, observed in the evening, never at morning or noon. These 2 chapters cannot be used for a proof text in support of the observance of the heathen Baal's supper which had been taken up by Christendom.

40. I wonder why that Satan is usually pictured as a black man with horns, hooves, and a tail, when it says in 2Cor 11:14 that he is transformed into an angel of light. What did he look like when he appeared in the garden to Eve?

The popular conception of Satan is really a picture of Nimrod, the great rebel of Babylon. It is told in the legends that he killed a wild bull of extraordinary strength and fierceness. He is supposed to have taken the horns of the bull and made himself a headdress. It did not take the artists long to add the hooves and the tail (always pointed as a spear) and you have the concept of Nimrod the great hunter of his fellow men. We are told in Ezekiel 28 that Satan was created as a covering cherub and when he appeared to Eve it was as the Nachash (shining one). So to Eve he did appear as a great and shining angel, one to revere and believe. No snake deceived Eve.

41. Why do you persist in using the King James version when there are so many modern ones that are more easily understood and which do not use obsolete words?

There are a number of reasons for retaining the Authorized Version. Many concordances would be useless, there would be difficulty with lexicons and the like for they are mostly founded on the AV. It is a sample of the best English of the past centuries. And no modern version can express the holiness and majesty of God as it does. It presents no difficulties to those who have been brought up in Christian homes where the Bible was read and prayers made. Neither does it present any difficulties to one who knows God. But the Bible will remain a closed book to the ungodly no difference what version it may be in. We are very suspicious of versions, for all too often they reflect some man's private belief which may be partial unbelief. None yet has surpassed the Authorized Version which also has the benefit of putting many words in italics where there were no corresponding Greek or Hebrew word in the original manuscripts. It is also one of the earliest English translations and although not perfect does contain less license to private doctrines and added words.

42. Who should keep the Passover?

All circumcised Israelites. It was to be eaten in the home. There was to be no leaven in the house. No manner of work was to be done on the day it was observed. Do not forget that this is all about the kingdom and not The Church. The children of the household were to ask why it was observed and the master of the house recited the story of the exodus from Egypt. The law never made any provisions for any uncircumcised to observe it. See Ex 12:47-49. It was in force till the end of Acts, where The Church began.

43. Should I put something into the collection plate when 1 go to a church?

Most certainly, yes, unless you are the type of person that would slip under the side of the circus tent to avoid paying admission. If you go for the show, then pay your share. Jonah paid his fare, even when running from the Lord (Jonah 1:3).

44. What is the meaning of Gal 2:20? How can one be dead and yet alive?

Christ is our life, we have no eternal life of ourselves. Christ is our supply. Holding Him we have nourishment ministered. This is the fact concerning ourselves as His own, a fact we are required to acknowledge against the background of our own death. He has accomplished for us our death to the end that He may now abide in us. The one has first to happen before the other can be. This is the meaning of the words: I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me (Gal 2:20). But for an acknowledgment that we, as to our human life, are mortal we can never believe that we are accounted to have died with Christ. Those of our fellow-brethren who hold that the soul of man is immortal may use the term that they died with Christ - but they cannot in actuality believe that they did die. They cannot envisage the truth that, as to their human life, they are accounted to have ceased to be.

45. Paul expected to be among the living at the rapture (1Thes 4:15-17; 1Cor 15:51,52). Is this rapture still Paul's hope, even though he died and will be among the dead believers of that time?

The rapture is only for the children of promise, primarily Jews but also Gentiles who became the children of Abraham by faith from Acts 10 to Acts 28:28. It has to do with the kingdom here on the earth. The rapture is just a little trip up into the air (not heaven) to meet the Lord as He comes with clouds of angels who will execute judgment as He sets up His kingdom seated on the throne of David in Jerusalem. Since the husbandman is to be the first partaker of the fruits, then Paul must surely have a part in the administration of the mystery which was entrusted to him to proclaim. Therefore he will have an earlier resurrection than that at the coming of the Lord and will be manifested with Him in the heavenly places.

46. Matthew 8:11 seems to indicate that Gentiles from the East and the West will have a part in the kingdom, but not from the North and the South. Is there any explanation for this?

There is no explanation that we can give at this time except the suggestion that it may be that the Russians and the Egyptians will not have a part in it. That could also include Lebanon and Syria. But this is only a guess. These nations might be all changed around by that time. But it is something to think about. The Word is exact and there is good reason for these words being written. The prophecies will be plain to all when fulfilled.

47. If the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 begins at the dedication of the temple, 1 always thought it had its beginning with the decree of Artaxerxes or Astyages in 454 B.C. Can you explain your position?

Very briefly, you will find 2 distinct prophecies in Daniel chapter 9. The first one is in verse 24 and speaks of the second advent of the Messiah. Note that 70 weeks are determined upon the people and the city. This cannot begin with the decree for the simple reason that the people are not in the city till about 49 years (7 weeks) later. So the 70 weeks determined on the city and the people must begin about the time of the dedication of the temple or 405 B.C. It is not hard then to figure that the coming of the Messiah to set up His kingdom would have been AD. 85. However the course of the city and the people did not run to this end, but the people were set aside at Acts 28:28 and since then have not been a people. The city was destroyed in 70 AD. Now if the people were cut off at the end of Acts, about A.D. 63, then there are about 3 weeks yet to run till the coming of the Messiah. We do not know when this prophecy will be resumed. Now the 7 and 62 weeks after the going forth of the decree brings us to A.D. 29, the date when Messiah was cut off. That has been completed.

48. Does Genesis 6:3 indicate that God will not always strive with men,. but that one can cross a deadline where there will be no more conviction by the Holy Spirit and they are forever lost?

Man, in this verse is Adam in the Hebrew: The verse means that God is getting weary of striving with Adam, for Adam (like others) is erring. See note in Companion Bible. So Adam is given another 120 years to live and he died at the age of 930. So we can take it that Adam was 810 years old when God finally made up His mind not to put up with him.

49. Is there any escape from hell once one is in it? If so, how?

The common notion of hell is far from what the Word says that it is. It is sheol in the Hebrew and occurs 65 times in the OT. It is translated hell 31 times, grave 31 times and pit 3 times. The RV is consistent in that it renders it sheol each time. It could be translated grave all 65 times and not mar the meaning. In the NT hades is used 11 times. It is also used in the LXX to translate sheol. So it is the same thing. It is translated 10 times as hell and once as grave. Gehenna does not enter into this discussion, for although it is translated hell, it is the city dump outside of Jerusalem. Neither does Tartarus enter in either. The grave or hell is a place where people are dead and live not again till resurrection (Rev 20:5). Our Lord was in hell 3 days and 3 nites. He came out by resurrection and was the first fruits of the great harvest that is still to come forth. Death and hell are to be destroyed (Rev 20:13,14). So all go to hell or the grave at death. Those who have everlasting life will escape by resurrection.

50. What is the difference between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God?

The former includes the latter in one sense. The gospel or good news of the kingdom was first proclaimed by John the Baptist, the Lord Himself, then the 12, and finally the 70, this being before the death of Christ. Then the apostles were further instructed as to the kingdom and this was the gospel preached by all up to Acts 28:28. The gospel of the grace of God began in the house of Cornelius, about 9 years after Pentecost. This was the only instance that Peter preached this gospel. None of the other 11 preached it at any time. And about 17 years after Pentecost Paul began to preach the gospel of the grace of God at Antioch to the Gentiles (just as Peter did) and continued it till the end of Acts. But in every instance Paul was careful to preach the gospel of the kingdom to the Jew first, and then turned to the Gentiles and preached to them the gospel of the grace of God, which meant that they could partake of all the spiritual blessings of Israel without keeping the law (being circumcised, keeping feasts, and the rituals). The same salvation (not eternal life) of the kingdom was at that time for both Jew and Gentile, but to the Jew first.

51. What is the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25)?

In this context we learn that the mystery that is in view is one that had been hushed since the ages began. So it is not the administration of the mystery which was hid from ages and generations and had its plans made before the ages began. This mystery, that had been hushed had been made known by the prophets as the context tells us, so it is not the mystery of Ephesians and Colossians. Also this mystery in Romans is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. In the structure outline of Romans this is explained by the same words appearing in 1:1-5. It is the preaching of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but connected with His being the seed of David. So then this is kingdom preaching and declares Jesus Christ not only the anointed one or Messiah, but truly the Son of God.

52. In what sense, if any, did works ever save?

Basically we have all through the Bible record the revelation of life as the gift of God, received by faith and in no connection whatsoever with works. But on that life we find based at least two salvations or lines of blessing. One is the promise made to Abraham. At least the kingdom aspect of the administration of promise has much to do with works as the sermon on the mount will indicate. Also Mark 16:16 adds that when the kingdom was being preached to Jews only, they must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. From 1Cor 3 we may infer that good works of themselves did not save, but could be burned up and the worker saved as by fire. When works were connected with salvation, they were for the most part specific rather than general. But today we have a salvation revealed in Eph 2:8-10 which is obtained by faith only. This salvation is a creation unto good works, not of works.

53. I am puzzled by Mark 13:32. Does this take away from the truth of the deity of Christ?

This passage says, But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. This has been a favorite verse for those who deny the deity of Christ. But it may be that it does prove His deity. He knows that no man knows the day and the hour. He knows that the angels in heaven do not know the day and the hour. Does not this knowledge indicate deity? And what if He does not choose to know? Deity can forget or remember at will. He can forget our sins. That we cannot do. If the Lord chose not to know the time, then that was His business and we have no right to question Him.

54. Is glory a place?

If at any time it answers the question, Where?, then it is a place. Whenever the question of place comes up with any terms, this is a good question to ask. If it designates where something is to be or to happen, then it is a place. But you will note when you look up the word glory in the concordance that it is not always used the same. It may speak of the glory of God. It may speak of the glory of Christ. And there are other usages. In the mystery of godliness in 1Timothy 3:16 it says that He was received up into glory. This answers the question of Where?, and is definitely a place. You may try other passages with the same method.

55. What is dispensational truth?

It is the body of truth, doctrine and practice, that is for a particular household of God. Some dispensational truth may be common to both dispensations. Some truth may be peculiar to its own particular dispensation. For instance, citizenship in the heavenly places is peculiar to the dispensation of the mystery. On the other hand, a part in the new Jerusalem is peculiar to the dispensation of promise. The word chosen is common to both, but time of choosing makes the distinction. The choice of some is before the overthrow, and the choice of others since the overthrow. This is where the workmanship of right division comes in.

56. What is meant by falling from grace?

You probably refer to Gal 5:4. In the first place this epistle to the Galatians is written to the members of the administration of promise, and especially to the Gentile members who had been grafted into the blessings of Israel and the kingdom. To these Paul had preached the gospel of the grace of God, that they might receive all the benefits of the administration of the promise without being circumcised and keeping the law. But there were Judaizers who were convincing some of these Gentiles that they must be circumcised and keep the law. So Paul says to them, For I testify again to every man (Gentile) that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you (Gentiles) are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. So to fall from grace was to leave the grace principle or gospel and go back to circumcision.

57. Was the crossing of the Red Sea literal, or was it just a figurative story?

If it was just a story, then we fail to see the point. If it was just a story, then how did the few million Hebrew slaves get out of Egypt?

58. What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Ghost? Acts 1:4,5.

At Pentecost the apostles were baptized with the Holy Ghost in fulfillment of the promise in Luke 24: 49. They received power from on high. This power enabled them to speak in languages and perform many miracles. This was in connection with those who proclaimed the kingdom. It was not in any way connected with The Church. See The Giver and His Gifts by E. W. Bullinger for further light.

59. Can Gentiles partake of the New Covenant?

Jer 31:31 plainly states that the New Covenant is to be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. This is again quoted in Heb 8:8. This is with Israel, not The Church or the Gentiles. The Gentiles do have a promise (Eph 3:6; 2Tim 1:1; Tit 1:2). But Gentiles have always been strangers from the covenants of promise (Eph 2:12).

60. In Acts 20:27 Paul declares that he has shown the whole counsel of God, yet we are led to believe that the mystery which was later proclaimed had been hid from ages and generations and that Paul did not know it there in Acts 20. How can we reconcile these?

If you will look at Eph 1:9 and 11 you will see two words used which do not mean the same thing. One is counsel, and the other is purpose. Paul did not say that he had proclaimed the whole purpose of God, but God's counsel (in accordance with the purpose then revealed). But when a new purpose or further purpose was made known, then there was a counsel or working out of that purpose as you see in Ephesians one. Be careful with terms.

61. What are the gates of hell in Matthew 16:18?

Since no explanation is given in that place, we must then go back to the OT which the disciples at that time had. In Isaiah 38:10 we read, I shall go to the gates of the grave. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? (Job 38:17). Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death (Psalms 9:13). Can this be resurrection from the grave? And we read in Psalms 107: 18, And they draw near unto the gates of death. Now going back to the passage in Matthew, we must conclude that the doors of the grave or hell cannot hold His church when He calls. They will come forth from the state of death.

62. If being born again in John 3:3 means resurrection, then what does it mean in 1Peter 1:23?

The same word is not used in these two passages. The latter means begotten (See margin in Companion Bible). So we must conclude that there can be no rebirth or resurrection without a begetting by the Word of God. Try using begotten in John 3:6 and see what the meaning is. Further study is needed in this subject.

63. Is it true that "ALL Paul's early epistles are addressed to Gentiles." References, such as Romans 11:13; 1Cor 12:2; Gal 4:8; and 1Thess 2:14, are given to prove the point. Can you give more light on this?

There is little doubt that Paul's first epistle was Galatians. And it appears that it was written to the Gentile Christians of Galatia. But at the same time it is evident that he wrote Hebrews, and that epistle is not to Gentiles at all! Romans 2 is to the Jewish believers, verse 17 emphasizing it. Chapters 10 and 11 of 1Cor are to those whose fathers crossed the Red Sea. Surely they must have been Jews. The fathers of the Gentiles never crossed the Red Sea. You will note in these chapters the directions for keeping the feast (the Passover) which was never lawful for Gentiles to keep.

64. Must the Roman empire be revived?

For many years we have heard this debated, but really have never yet found a Scripture which would indicate that this must be true. We are open to any proof anyone may offer for this, but we are afraid it is merely a tradition someone started.

65. How can every knee bow confessing Christ Lord, to God's glory, unless reconciled? (Philippians 2: 10,11).

Lest any be misled, we must emphasize the fact that reconciliation is not life nor is it salvation. The definition is given in 2Cor 5:19. It means that a work was accomplished so that the sins of the world are not imputed against it. This is good news for those who do not have life, for it gives them access to God to receive the precious gift of everlasting life. Those that have this life shall live. And in resurrection, they will be given knees which they can bow, and be given tongues with which they can confess. But those who do not have life and will never see life (John 3:36), but remain in the dust of the earth, will never have knees or tongues.

66. What does it mean in Philippians 2:12 where it says we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling?

It is well to consider what salvation is before making any applications. It does not say that we are to work out our everlasting life. To equate salvation and everlasting life will only get us into confusion. And somebody has said that confusion is ignorance. When our Lord said to the woman of Samaria that salvation was of the Jews, He was not talking about everlasting life. By faith the Samaritans or any other people could have life. Peter recognized this fact in Acts 10:43. Israel had a salvation to work out. It was that they were to be a priestly nation and make known to the nations the name of Jehovah. They were promised the blessings of the kingdom. To them pertained the preaching of the kingdom. All this was their salvation and they were expected to work it out. And so when the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles in Acts 28:28, it does not mean that they are then to obtain everlasting life. Their salvation was the administration of the mystery with all its hopes and blessings. This they were to work out.

67. What is the meaning of 1Timothy 1:8?

This verse states that the law is good if one uses it lawfully. There is law today, but not in the sense of the Mosaic law given at Sinai, although that law did reveal the righteousness of God and man's utter inability to attain unto such a state of holiness. But the law or will of God is given to us in the last seven epistles of Paul in the form of exhortations and the like. This is a good thing for us providing we do not attempt to use it as a means of boasting in the flesh. We can walk worthy of our vocation or calling, but there is nothing to brag about, for such a walk is where Christ lives in and acts thru us.

68. What is the difference between eternal life and everlasting life?

They both translate the same phrase in the Greek. However God alone can have eternal life for He has no beginning or end. His children do have a beginning and are given everlasting life through the works of His Son.

69. Your teaching seems very queer. How can Christ be King of kings on the earth and at the same time be Head of a church which is His body in heaven? This is absurd, is it not?

For finite beings such as you and I, this would be impossible and therefore absurd. But if Christ were deity, God manifest in flesh, then He is the Infinite and could appear in as many different places and forms as He might choose.

70. Was Christ a soul after the resurrection?

Psalms 16:10 says, Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. This is quoted in Acts 2:27 by Peter, and part of it is quoted in Acts 13:35 by Paul. Christ went to hell just as have all others who have lived and died on this earth. But His soul was holy and so did not see corruption. It was raised from the dead. If He was a soul before death, then He was a soul in resurrection.

71. I have heard it said that God is acting in grace today to all the world, and that if He does not act in grace, He does not act at all. Is this according to the Scriptures?

In theory, this is but another version of universal reconciliation or salvation. It just happens that the Redeemer in the Hebrew is also the Avenger. The redemption of Noah and his family brought vengeance on the wicked world of that time. The redemption of Israel from Egypt brought vengeance on Pharaoh and his hosts. The very fact that God loves His people makes Him hate their enemies. We are told that Buddha loves everybody. He sits and does nothing about it. But that is not our God. His grace is for those that will partake of it. His wrath abides on others (John 3:36).

72. I am a little mixed up. It speaks of the inheritance of God in the heavenlies in Ephesians 1:18, and in Colossians 1:12 it says that we are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance in the holiest in light. However Ephesians 5:5 indicates that one may lose this inheritance. How is this?

The Church has an inheritance, even as did Israel. Individuals may lose it, even as many thousands of Israel lost their inheritance.

73. In Psalms 1:5 it says that the ungodly would not stand (arise) in the judgment, and that this meant no resurrection for the unbelievers. Somebody said that this word stand did not mean resurrection. Can you answer this?

A lot of people are quick to set forth their own ideas as gospel truth, but err, not knowing the Scriptures. You will find this word quwm (koom) on page 1101 of the Englishman's Hebrew Concordance. There is a long list of the places where used, but one or two will suffice. See Job 14:12; Psalms 88:10; Isaiah 26:14. You can also check this with Strong's concordance. The word number is 6965. This is what Scripture says.

74. Do you believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible? If so, then how would you translate sheep and vine and the like for people who know nothing of these things? After all, is not the Bible just the words of men?

The Bible time after time claims to be the Word of God. If it is not, then it is false and should be thrown out altogether. It would even be dangerous if it were just the words of men. But look at Psalms 12: 6, The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. God has spoken in man's language to man, but He does not use those words carelessly as man does. And the fact that some might not understand some of the terms used is no excuse to make any changes in the Word of God. How many understand love? How many comprehend the term righteousness? We who are teachers have to teach what these things are. And so it is up to a man to teach what a sheep or a vine is when speaking to the Eskimos. Some tribes do not know what a home is. It is up to Christians to teach and to show these what a home is. We must not tamper with the Scriptures. But we must remember that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable...

75. What is the sin mentioned in Hebrews 12:1?

It is the sin of unbelief. That is the root of all other sins. Self-will nourishes it.

76. It seems strange that Rahab the harlot should be so well spoken of in the Bible. Why?

In this day when men think that respectability is Christianity, this does pose a real question. But Rahab was saved by faith and not by any moral qualities she may have had. So we can say that she was a sinner saved by grace. People who do not know the love and power of God cannot understand His works. Our Lord was criticized because He kept company with publicans and sinners. God is able to take the worst sinner living today and make a saint of him. But men with all their do-good programs and reformation cannot do this.

77. Why don't we hear more about Jobs wife?

She was not much good as a wife. When Job was in trouble and grief, she was no comfort. All she had to say was that he should curse God and commit suicide (Job 2:9). God did not see fit even to put her name in Scripture. The same with Lot's wife.

78. Why did God have a program of healing in the apostolic times and not have it today?

During the time covered by Acts, the kingdom was still at hand. If any at that time would have been careful to study Daniel 9, they would have been able to set the date of the Lord's second coming and the setting up of His kingdom. It would have been A.D. 85, just 490 years from the dedication of the temple after the exile (405 B.C.). With that near coming at hand, it would be fitting that those who believed and entered into the kingdom would be alive and ready to meet the King at His coming. So the sick were healed and the dead raised during the time that the kingdom was in view. But when the kingdom was postponed at Acts 28:28, the gifts of the Spirit ceased. The two days of Hosea 6:2 must intervene before Israel will be raised and come into their kingdom. Resurrection and being manifested with Him in the heavenlies is the hope of the members of The Church which is His body today. A resurrection at about the time of the great white throne of judgment is the hope of those who have everlasting life, but no adoption (See Job 14:12 and compare with Rev 20:11). Thus we can see that there is no gifts of healing and the like today.

79. How about the common teaching that the church is Spiritual Israel? Is it true?

I am afraid that we will never be able to find the expression Spiritual Israel in the Bible. It is not there. History tells us that this expression originated with a man by the name of Origines. He was a Greek writer and teacher of the third century. It was a theory that God was forever thru with the Jew and now all the blessings and covenants had been transferred to the church. A few years later the Emperor Constantine saw in this a great chance to improve his position as ruler. This would make a fine basis for a church-state, making war in the name of and with the aid of religion, for ritual, pomp, splendor, and ecclesiastical theatricals. We have on hand today the tragic results of that lie, that theory, which has caused to much bloodshed and misery in centuries past. And if we are not careful, organized religion will again take over and rule the world. Then there will be great tribulation.

80. Is water baptism essential for the remission of sins?

Isaiah had a coal of fire laid upon his mouth, which in touching his lips took away all his iniquity and purged all his sins. Our Lord spoke to many during His earthly ministry, remitting their sins without baptism. The members of The Church of the administration of The Mystery are not under law, and they today have redemption through His blood, and the forgiveness of sins. They have only one baptism and this is explained in Col 2:12,13 as being identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, even to a quickening with Him with the accompaniment of forgiveness of sins. No water baptism is mentioned in connection with The Church. It is a part of the law and the kingdom of Israel. But there are even now those who claim that they are Jews (Rev 2:9; 3:9)

81. It would seem that Romans 2:14 proves that man did not have a fall, but by nature does the things of the law. How do you see it?

The epistle to the Romans has suffered much at the hands of its friends, the commentators and the expositors. It is a case of being very careful to read the address on the envelope, to find out to whom the apostle is speaking. This epistle is written to the church at Rome which was made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. The man spoken to in verse 1 of chapter 2 is seen to be the Jew (see verse 17). When we read Galatians we see that the Gentile believers in the churches were not subject to the law of Israel. This is also brought out in the council at Jerusalem (Acts 15). So here in Romans 2:14 Paul is reminding the Jewish believers that the Gentile believers did by nature (the new nature in the believer) the things contained in the law. This would only be natural, for the law did contain the righteous requirements of God for His people. This does not say that the Gentiles observed the ritual of the law. That was settled in Acts 15:24-29.

82. There is a great deal of mention of the book of life in the Revelation. There seems to be a danger of being blotted out of it. How can one know his name is in this book?

This is another example of carelessly reading the Word. The book of life is mentioned about 7 times in the Revelation. Once it is called the Lamb's book of life (21:27). This might give us a clue. But the best explanation for it is given in Daniel 12:1. The names written in the book are those of Daniel's people, that is, Israel. So we do not look for the names of Gentiles to be written in that particular book. The Revelation is about Israel, their tribulation, and the overcomers. It is possible that there might be a book for the Gentiles, but you will find that elsewhere.

83. Do we today have need of the Advocate mentioned in 1John 2:1?

Under the law, men were judged by the law (Romans 2:12) and those that do not have the law cannot be judged by it. Where there is no law, sin is not imputed and therefore there can be no summons to court or a charge made against the sinner (see 2Cor 5:19 and Romans 5:13). Those under the law prayed that they might be forgiven as they forgave others. But we who are under grace are to forgive others freely because we have been forgiven (Eph 4:32). We have no need of an Advocate today, for we have forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7 & Col 1:14).

84. What was the spiritual condition of the rich young ruler when he came to the Lord and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life?

This young man who must have been a "somewhat" in the synagogue was already a believer. He recognized the Lord as the Messiah, the King of Israel. His request was what he must do to have a place of importance in the kingdom. The reply of the Lord was very similar to His words in Matt 19:29. It meant the forsaking of everything in the world for His name's sake. The price was too high for this man.

85. Did Paul continue establishing churches or assemblies after Acts 28:28?

There is no record that he did. Neither is there any record that such churches or assemblies were in existence after Acts 28:28.

86. What part, or parts, of the gospel of John are truth for this administration?

In the first place, we do not use the term "this administration." If the administration of The Mystery is meant, then John's gospel is not to or for it. But John's gospel is truth for today. So many are misled by the expression "this administration," thinking it means this age or time in which we live and that it means a way in which God is dealing with mankind today in general. God does have a special way of dealing with the administration of The Mystery, a church already seated in heavenly places. But for the rest of humanity today, John's gospel applies (John 3:16). There is no administration teaching for today in this gospel. That which applies today and which is for Gentiles (the Jews have been set aside, 1:11), is 1:1-18; 3:13-21; and 3:31-36. The reason for the writing of the gospel is given in 20:30,31. There are some short explanations through the book for Gentile readers, and then the last 2 verses of the book are up-to-date.

87. Should those who are Christians gather together at some place for worship today?

It may be that the word worship is somewhat overdone these days. Even in Israel, the temple was the designated place of worship. The Synagogue was not a place of worship, but a place to teach the Scriptures and also as a court where men might be tried under the law and penalties meted out. Paul knew this very well, for he had been beaten in the Synagogues many times. In the epistles written after Acts 28:28 the word worship occurs just once. That is in Ph'p 3:3 where Paul says, For we are the (true) circumcision, which worship God in the spirit. This is an echo of John 4:23 where the Lord said to the woman of Samaria, But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshiper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. That worship has nothing to do with a place, a priesthood, nor a ritual. It is natural for those who love the Word and the One of whom it speaks to gather together, but we have no such command today. Leaders often wish it and even pretend it so they can get a following and a big collection.

88. Do you believe that there are 2 bodies?

In the administration of The Mystery there is 1 Body (Eph 4:4). In the administration of promise there was 1 body (1Co 12:13). Whether that included all believers I cannot tell. It may have been just the church at Corinth. So there was one body, and there is one body. But they are not the same. The first was of Israel with an earthly hope. There is one now of Gentiles already seated in heavenly places. The first was to minister to the nations of the earth. There is one now making known the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places. We are aware that most of Christendom does not know much about right division and the mystery.

89. I am curious about Acts 17:11. What was it that Paul told the Bereans, and what Scriptures might they have looked up to see if it was so?

You have done well to stop and ask such a question. Not many have done that. In the same chapter, in verses 2 and 3, you will find what Paul preached; And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them (the synagogue of the Jews), and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus-whom I preach unto you, is Christ. So it is clear that Paul was preaching and arguing from the Scriptures that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed their Christ and Messiah, the King of Israel. In verse 7 his enemies charge him with saying, that there is another king (than Caesar), one Jesus. The theme of their Scriptures, the OT, is of the coming kingdom and the King. And this is what the Bereans found. Paul was not preaching the administration of The Mystery. Even if he had, they could not have verified his message from the Scriptures they had, for it was a subject that had been hid in God from ages and generations (Eph 3:9; Col 1:26). Be sure to check this.

90. How can we know that the "voice" in Isaiah 40:3 refers to John the Baptist?

The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to write of John the Baptist, For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. This is quoted from the reference you gave. Also you will find that a messenger is to be sent to proclaim the coming of the Lord, the God of Israel (Mal 2:16,17; 3:1-4). This is the same Lord and God referred to in your text. Not only does John the Baptist fulfill the place of the messenger, but Jesus of Nazareth is the Lord and the God of Israel whose way is to be made straight. Christ is Jehovah.

91. Could it be that Philippians 2:9-11 refers to the man, Jesus, who is another creature or a god?

In this reference it is plainly stated that the highest name possible is given to Jesus of Nazareth. That name is found in Psalms 7:17, the first of 36 places it occurs in the OT. It is Jehovah-Elyon, or, Jehovah the Most High God. There is no name above this one. If Jesus of Nazareth was not Jehovah, the Most High God, then our Bible is wrong, not inspired, and can not be trusted. We might just as well throw it out and lean on our own understanding. Here is a further quotation from Isaiah 45:23, I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. In this same context it is made plain that there is no other Savior. However Satan still is saying, Yea, hath God said! We find our directions made clear in 2 John 9,10, Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ (what the Word testifies of Him) , hath not God ...If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. Just remember, the greatest of sins is unbelief.

92. What is the meaning of Romans 9:6 where it says, " For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." Does this have to do with the true seed?

The true and the false seed are not in this context. Rather, the downfall of Israel and the blessing of the Gentile believers is the subject of chapters 9-11 here in Romans. Paul is making it plain that the true Israel of God is not all made up of the descendants of Israel, but also includes Gentiles. In his first epistle, Paul said to the Gentile believers, And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:29). In verse 9 of the same chapter we read, So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Now keep in mind that this is in the administration of promise, not The Mystery. Israel is still first.

93. Did John the Baptist have a message and a baptism for Gentiles?

There is no record that he did. In fact, there was no ministry to Gentiles in the NT until the day that Peter went to the house of Cornelius in the city of Caesarea (Acts 10 entire).

94. There is much talk these days about Moses being married to a black woman, and also that Philip preached to a colored man of Ethiopia. Do these have any bearing on truth for today?

None that I can think of. Zipporah was the wife of Moses. She was the daughter of a priest in Midian. His name was Reuel, Raguel, or Jethro. The Midianites were children of Abraham by his second wife, Keturah, and so would be the same race and color as Moses. Since Midian was in Arabia, a part of the land of Cush, she would be a Cushite by nationality, but a Midianite by race. So what? The eunuch, to whom Philip spoke, is not. said to be an Ethiopian, but from Ethiopia. He had the Scriptures and had been to Jerusalem to worship. So we must conclude that he was a Jew that was a slave in high position with the queen of Ethiopia. This would correspond with the condition of Daniel in the court of Nebuchanezzar and later in the court of Darius the Mede. I might add that the queen of Sheba was very probably not of Ethiopia, as tradition says, but queen Hatshepsut of Egypt (Sheba meaning south).

95. What is meant by the evil day in Ephesians 6:13?

There is a chance that at some time during the truth of the administration of The Mystery there may come a time of tribulation or trial upon those who dare to speak this truth. The spiritual failure and barrenness we see in Christendom today can well lead to such a condition.

96.  Are we to approach the throne of grace in prayer today as indicated in Hebrews 4:16?

The word throne does not appear in any of the epistles Paul wrote after Acts 28:28. It is not found in the gospel of John which was also written this side of Acts. Throne has to do with a King and a kingdom. There is no place for a throne in The Church. In the plural, it occurs in Col 1:16, but it is concerning thrones, dominions, and the like in heaven and earth, not the throne of God.

97. In Romans 6:14,15 it speaks of not being under the law, but under grace. Was not the Jew still under the law then?

Yes, the Jew was still under the ceremonial law, known as the law. But in the reference you gave, there is no article. Under faith, love, and grace, the Jew was no longer subject to the moral law. The moral law is contained in the last 5 of the 10 commandments. You can readily see that if one loves his neighbor as himself, then this moral law is made void. It is rather a strange thing to say that law is for the lawless. But that is right. The Gentile believers in Rome had the new nature and so did the things of the law, even though they never had it (Romans 2:14). Romans 13:8,10 shows that love is the fulfilling of the law (the moral law).

98. According to Ephesians 3:2 is not this the age or administration of grace?

No. This verse tells us that a special administration of grace was given to Paul that he might preach the gospel of the administration of The Mystery. Just notice how Paul follows this statement up in verses 7 & 8. Compare with Col 1:25 where he speaks of his ministry being an administration of God to him. The next verse speaks of this ministry as The Mystery.

99. When did water baptism cease to be the rule for God's people?

The apostles and Paul baptized with water in the Acts era. Paul makes it known that after Acts 28:28 there is one baptism (Eph 4:5) and in Col 2:12 this baptism is described as being identified with Christ in death, burial and resurrection. So we must conclude that water baptism ceased at the end of Acts.

100. Is it true that two distinct purposes of God are revealed in the Bible?

Yes that is true. (1) There is a distinctive purpose revealed concerning Israel, the kingdom, and the earth program (not connected with powers in the heavens). The kingdom phase culminates in the coming of the King, the rapture of His people, Israel, and the setting up of the kingdom. (2) There is another distinctive purpose revealed after Acts 28:28 which has to do with the Gentiles (nations) and this in connection with heavenly places and heavenly beings. This is The Church. All believers outside these two distinctive purposes from Adam till now will have their part with the dying malefactor in paradise (the new earth). This groups all believers into 3 groups, but with 2 spheres of blessing, the earth and the heavens.

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  • The Word of God makes known The Lord Jesus Christ; Who declares to the Believer our Heavenly Father that we might know Him. God has revealed Himself not according to religious viewpoints but reveals Himself by the written Word.  The Light that illuminates our path makes it possible for all who are willing to walk with Him and to see His clear instructions to live victorious lives in Christian Faith and Practice.
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