AUGUST RADIO FEATURES
Managing Ed ito r. . .
President. . .
E V E LY N G IB S O N
J. R IC H A R D C H A S E
C O N T E N T S
*The Nature of Peace . J . Richard Chase
*Panel D iscussions
Lehman Strau ss
Lloyd T . Anderson
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Why Is Christian Pçàce.Different? By J. RICHARD CHASE
CHRISTIAN PEACE There are certain qualities which should be found in the Christian's life if he is to live in the Spirit rather than the flesh. One of these is peace. It is the third quality re corded in Galatians 5:22, 23. Peace is sought in every conceivable way, yet it is as illusive as it is desirable. Through history's many wars we have seen just how transitory na tional or even personal tranquillity really is. One of the former heads of the Atomic Energy Commission once commented, "If anyone wants peace, he simply picked the wrong time in which to live!" The fact of the matter is, peace is not finding the right time to live nearly so much as it is finding the right way to live. Christian peace is certainly the unique gift of God which can op erate at any time and under any circumstances. The first question we might ask is, "What is peace?" The stand ard word in the original Greek for peace conveys much the same idea as our English word. From a nega tive standpoint, we could say that peace is the absence of conflict. If two nations are having a dispute, the conflict must stop before we have peace. If a husband and wife are fighting, peace comes only when the tension stops. We could also define peace in a positive manner and say it is harmony. An individual who is not fighting and living in conflict with God's will enjoys fellowship with Christ. He walks in harmony with his Savior and is at peace. Peace should not, however, be related to inactivity. Sometimes a person will say, "I want a little rest and peace." He may have confused the idea that peace suggests inac tivity; "getting away from it all."
The fact is that our environment and involvements do not neces sarily affect a peaceful state of mind. Analyze the things in your own life and see that rest may be one thing while true lasting peace is quite another. In a certain sense both secular and biblical peace are quite similar in our initial definition. Obviously, a person cannot have peace with God unless conflict is resolved. A person cannot experience true Christian peace unless conflicts in his life, including his relationships with others, are changed to pro vide desired harmony. This is a very general observation as it re lates to conflicts, tensions, and struggles. The second question is, "What are the sources of peace?" Basical ly, they are found in altering the circumstances which cause conflict. Let us treat this in a general sense now and later we will see in clear er light the uniqueness of God's peace. Generally speaking, then, peace is found in altering circum stances that cause conflict. Now here I have related peace to cir cumstances. For a general under standing of peace, we will allow this relationship to stand. Later, when we talk specifically about Christian peace, we will make a partial alteration. There are two sets of circumstances that are involved in this relationship with peace. First of all, peace is related to cir cumstances over which we have little or virtually no control. This, of course, is a source of frustration to many individuals. They long for peace, but since it is related to na tional conflict or circumstances be yond their control, they do not have peace and have no way of
getting it under the conditions that they have set for peace. How can one really possess peace as long as he believes that content ment will come only when the world lives in peace? I know of a situation where a Christian couple were both deeply involved in the activities of their church. At the same time, they fought constantly over many different things. One of their three children who was a teenage girl told me, "I can hardly wait to get married so that I can get out of this home. I cannot stand all that fighting much long er!" She had been trapped in a situation over which she had little control. This teenager thought she would only possess peace if she was able to change her circum stances. This form of definition is quite standard. But how sad it is to see people trapped in circum stances beyond their control. There is also the need to alter those circumstances over which we do have control. Have you never gotten into conflicts with other persons, perhaps through an argu ment, and as a result your mind has not been at ease? You may not even have been able to sleep at night. There is something you can do about this. It may require the swallowing of some pride, but it can be accomplished. We may also control our relationship with Cod. We are told in Romans 5:10 that we were at one time enemies of God. We can remain enemies and know little of His provision for us, including His provision for peace. But this is a circumstance over which we do have some control. When the Holy Spirit brings us to the place where we realize our need of a Savior, we can respond.
We do not need to remain sepa rated from Cod. The third question quite natur ally follows, "Why is Christian peace so special?" The first reason is very simple: Christ said it was special in John 14:27. Paul also re minds us that it is special. Paul says that if we will walk in the Spirit we will live with different qualities of life. The natural fruit which results is love, joy, and peace about which we have been study ing. There is a far different sub stance to the peace of Cod's Word than that sought by merely rear ranging the world's problems. Christian peace is. also different because all the circumstances do not have to change for the better in order for us to enjoy it. Notice that I said "all the circumstances do not have to change." Some of them will have to change, some over which we do have control. But we will be talking about that later. Christ promised in John 14:27 that His peace is different than that of the world. It is different, I be lieve, because the believer can en joy peace even in the midst of conflict over which he has no con trol. John, chapter 13, contains many things that would shatter the average person's peace. Yet, on the heels of these incidents, Christ promises peace in John, chapter 14. What were the adverse circum stances to peace in John, chapter 13? Note three key items. In verse 21, Christ says that one is going to betray Him. In verse 36, Christ says that He is going to leave His dis ciples and that they cannot follow Him. And, finally, in verse 38, Christ says that Peter will deny Him three times. Each of these in cidences speak of conflict. Con- Page 7
CHRISTIAN PEACE flict between what the disciples desired and what was actually go ing to happen. The circumstances would surely shatter any peace they might expect. However, in the light of these words, Christ still promises a peace that passes un derstanding. Perhaps now we have a clear idea of why it does go be yond human understanding. Most of you know the life of Paul well enough to realize that he experienced great suffering. Be ginning with II Corinthians 11:23, he talks about being shipwrecked, beaten, and thrown into prison. He knew disappointment as we see in II Timothy 1:15. Everyone seemed to have turned away from him. He knew the anguish of problems and perplexities (II Corinthians 4:8, 9). Yet his messages in the Epistles, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are always filled with the message of peace. Paul's peace was not totally dependent upon circumstances. The circumstances were seldom favorable. Christian peace is also unique because Cod has given a plan whereby we can alter the circum stances we do control and thereby know the fullness of Christian peace. The world certainly has no pattern for that. There are some elements of psychology which help people maintain a measure of peace, but there is no clear-cut pattern such as is defined in the Word of Cod which will give us true and lasting peace even amid our circumstances. Do you know first-hand, and are you regularly experiencing this blessed peace? Christian peace is potentially the possession of every Christian even despite the many disturbing cir cumstances over which we may
have no control. But our peace is related to circumstances — those circumstances over which we do have control. For example, to a certain extent, we do control our relationship with Cod. While it is the Holy Spirit who works in our lives, yet it is by our desire and actions that we both accept Christ and walk in fellowship with Him. It is also by our neglect that we drift away from Cod and play the role of a prodigal son. By our fool ishness the peace of fellowship is often replaced by the agony of separation. Christian peace is primarily based on salvation. We should never in any way ever minimize this truth. Paul explains this, "Therefore, be ing justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). This means that we appear before Cod as ac ceptable to Him through our faith in His Son. We cannot possibly have harmony with Cod so long as we are enemies with Him. We only have this peace through our Savior. This is all foundational. There is another phrase which helps me to understand how important salva tion is for personal peace, "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15). If an individual cannot have harmony in this life while in conflict with God, then he must receive "the gospel of peace." To exist apart from this can never provide real satisfaction or content ment. Peace from God does not come from trying to live a good life. To do this ultimately will re sult in agony. Paul found this out
first hand and expressed in Romans the wretchedness of his heart. Let me underscore it again. Peace is simply the result of allowing Christ to come into the life so that the basic conflict between man and God can be resolved by the shed blood of the Savior. By doing this, we become totally a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). Notice that you are the one who becomes new, not the circumstances that surround you: the country may still be at war, the baby may still have cholic and your Aunt Bessie may still be planning a lengthy visit. Just because you are a Christian does not mean that conflict will no longer exist around you. With your belief in Christ and the solid foun dation which is provided in salva tion you can know peace first hand. What has happened is that the basic conflict with God has been done away with. This is why it is so important to make sure that this eternal relationship is made right. Christian peace is also based on a definite commitment to God's way. This, in a sense, is just anoth er dimension of salvation. One of the great dangers facing believers is growing cold to the things of the Lord. This generally results from a failure to study the Word regular ly, have fellowship in prayer, and meeting regularly with other Chris tians. Such people are generally more interested in their own life style, going their own way, than they are following the will of the Lord. Such a conflict as this can never result in peace. Peace is shattered when we attempt to live by one standard when we know that our Lord expects something else. Such conflict dispells peace and is a circumstance we must al
ter to restore harmony. Frequently I will read the "Dear Abby" column. Most of the ques tions she receives seem to center on conflicts. The husband may believe one thing while the wife another. There are differing views on many subjects. One I recall was from a woman who wrote in, "Is something wrong with me? I feel my husband ought to be faithful but he feels it is all right to go out with another woman. He thinks he has a right to that privilege. He thinks I am just old-fashioned." I cannot remember the clever an swer word-for-word, but basically Abby's response was that the hus band should get "squared away" or she should perhaps consider leaving him. While not probing very deeply, she was right in the necessity for having some foun dational agreement in the home which should be honored by both husband and wife. If you have an understanding as to what God wants for your life and yet you are unwilling to do it, there will naturally follow con flicts. Suppose an outstanding high school athlete has discovered how nice it is to have people recognize his abilities. While he is a good Christian, attempting to be a posi tive witness on the football field as well as in the classroom, he is disappointed when people fail to see what a great job he has done. This hurt pride causes him con flict, especially if someone else gets more prominence than he does. He may have the mistaken notion that praise and recognition will bring him peace. This can nev er be! In fact, just the opposite is true. God recognizes that we need to bolster one another, but we Page 9
CHRISTIAN PEACE must realize that Christ alone de serves the honor and the glory. Peace comes only as we are willing to live our lives in accordance with Cod's priorities. Those who go out only for praise are among the most miserable in all the world. Some of those who have received the crowd's accolades have even ended their lives in suicide. Perhaps a good question for all of us in this bind is to ask, “Do I want praise or do I want peace? It may well be that we cannot have both. In the Old Testament we read the promise, “Great peace have they who love thy law, and nothing shall offend them" (Psalm 119:165). Such individuals live in harmony because they live in accordance with God's will and God's way. Misery accompanies those who go contrary to this direction (such as actively seeking pleasure rather than God's way). David speaks of this in testifying, “O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath; neither chas ten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me and thy hand presseth me greatly" (Psalm 38:1). Doubtless, while we do not know the full circumstances, he had done something contrary to God's law. He felt the pressures of conflict between his will and God's law. David learned his les son, and he wrote, "Great peace have they who love thy law." In a similar way, Proverbs 3:1, 2 also emphasizes this fact, “My son, for get not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee." In the Old Testament it is clear, obe dience to God's law was the path to peace. Going your own way was a source of conflict and could re- Page 10
THE CAMPUS WAS SOMEWHAT SECLUDED THIS SUMMER — THIS MONTH 2,000 STUDENTS ARE CHANGING THAT.
CHRISTIAN PEACE suit only in shattering peace. Isaiah 26:3 merely reinforces this idea, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." In the Old Testament peace is based upon a commitment to God's way. Do you want honor? Do you want a lot of money? Do you want a nice home? Do you want all of the things so many equate with satisfaction? Keep in mind, it does not necessarily follow that you will have peace. Peace is not hav ing the American way of life. If your priorities are not set right, you will always be in conflict. "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). Peace is the result of living the way God wants us to live (Galatians 5:16). We are to walk in the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Is your peace shattered because of the way in which you are living? If you will submit yourself to Christ, and claim Him as your personal Savior, you will have the founda tion of peace. Then, if you will base your life upon a complete commitment to God's way, accept ing His priorities, you will find many of the conflicts in your life resolved and peace will prosper. Christian peace is more than ac cepting Jesus Christ as Savior and then praying or witnessing. His peace has many dimensions. To experience fully this peace we must apply to our lives all of God's principles. As an example, do you think that you can have peace and at the same time fight? Do squab bles with other people enable you to retain tranquillity of mind? You see, it is one thing to have peace
with God because our sins are for given, and yet another thing to live in peace because we are ap propriating some of the principles of Scripture. On the foundation of our life in Christ, we can build a life that ex tends the benefits of peace to other areas of our lives. Peace can then exist despite problems, sorrows or turmoils that are beyond our con trol. God only asks us to control that which is within our power. Christian peace is really multi faceted. Although initially the gift of God, peace becomes fully pos sible only as we take action. Con sider those helpful verses in Phil- ippians 4:6-9. We are not to be anxious but rather with prayer and supplication, coupled with thanks giving, we are to let our requests be made known unto God. The Lord wants us to burden Him with all our concerns. Anything that dominates your thought life is a concern or a care. Paul reminds us that we should not be tied up in knots over such things. Some of our requests may even be the rea son for our problems. The Apostle Paul at one time asked the Lord to get rid of his physical ailment. God told him, "No." He promised, "My grace is sufficient for thee." There was a lesson he was to learn. Let us make certain that in interces sion we are not praying just to get our own way. Such is directly con trary to Scripture (James 4:1-4). Philippians 4:6-7 says to turn all your requests over to the Lord — all of them. Some will be selfish, some unwise, but share them with the Lord. Only by leaving such concerns in His hands can we be gin to focus in on top priority items for our life. If money, hate,
health, or pride foul up your life, take it to the Lord and ask him to give you a perspective that, as with Paul, was broader than just self and your temporal world. If you are plagued by financial problems, you are in for rough times if you say, "I will never have peace until I get this solved." Do not fight it alone. Take it to the Lord. He may leave you in a financial mess for your own good, but you may get a better perspective of life than money and may even learn of God's grace. Jesus told us that a man's life does not consist in the abundance of things which he pos sesses. Contented is the man who can find satisfaction in the things which he possesses without con stantly struggling for more. An an cient Latin dictum states, "Worse than the man who has nothing, is the man who cannot get enough." We are to focus our lives on positive things. In Philippians4:8,9 we find a long list of them, "Fin ally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace shall be with you." The Greek word for do con veys the idea of regular practice. Peace is not the result of an after noon of positive thinking. It is the result of regular living with a focus on biblical qualities. Thinking on negative things and those contrary to the Word of God will only build up conflicts. Everyone of these terms is vital, practical and rele
vant. A few brief comments are in order. Think on that which is true. What an apt description for the Word of God. Those things which are honest should occupy our thoughts. If you distort the truth, peace will be shattered. Let us make certain that things which are acceptable to God are found in our lives. To do otherwise will invite problems. There is also the phrase, "Whatever things are lovely." This means that which is agreeable to the way the Lord wants us to live. If there is adultery in the life; if a person is feeding his mind with pornographic materials, he will quite naturally build up conflicts and lack real peace. "That which is just" means that we are to deal with others on a level as we would have them deal with us. No one is entitled to some special privilege above another. A lack of purity in the life will generate confusion and shatter tranquillity. Many of us do not have peace because we do not take the things that are nor mally virtuous and worthy of praise as our feast for the mind. We spend too much time in other areas. Such a practice must be broken if we are to experience lasting peace. We are to focus our lives on the posi tive things which are in accordance with God's perfect will. Here are circumstances at our doorstep that need to be controlled—and God has placed the matter in our hands. One further point is to make certain that we have the proper re lationship with others. Paul exhorts us, "Let us, therefore, follow after the things which make for peace, and things with which one may edify another" (Romans 14:19). This entire chapter is a treatise on how to get "squared away" with Page 13
CHRISTIAN PEACE our fellow men. To fail here means you will deny the ability to expe rience peace in your life. We must first of all be careful not to judge others (Romans 14:2, 3). Many pas sages of Scripture deal with this matter. Our lives are not to be marked by disputings and argu ments. If someone is weak in the faith, we are to receive him with out such condemnation (vs. 4). He is the servant of Christ if he has been born-again by faith. If he is off base, it is a matter between him and the Lord. We are not to play the role of judge. This is not our obligation (I Corinthians 4:3). Also we are to take care that our lives do not become stumbling blocks to others (vs. 15). We are never to compromise any biblical principle. The area where there can be guidance is in altering the pattern of living. We are not to be overly concerned about our own individual freedom so that we run roughshod over others and cause them to fall. If you spend half your
time judging other people and the other half exerting your own free dom you will certainly not enjoy peace. You will lead a life of con flicts. Probably fighting and bick ering will be the hallmark of your existence. Remember, Christian peace is the absence of conflict. Conflict with Cod is resolved through the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of our salvation. Conflict in priorities is resolved when we commit our life to God's way. Conflict with the little problems of life which can loom so large are to be brought daily to God. Our peace can be found in focusing on the good things (Philippians 4:8, 9). Let us make absolutely certain that we avoid judging, so that we will not be a stumbling block to others. While God's Word has much more to say on peace, perhaps this can serve as an introduction to the sub ject as the Holy Spirit helps us to apply these truths to our program and purpose of daily existence.
Q. Portland, Ore. "What can be done when a wife believes in tith ing while her husband does not?" A. This situation, or its reverse, oc curs in many Christian homes. The principle must always be that the husband is the head of the house hold. The Bible, despite modern attempts at liberation, does strong ly indicate the importance of sub jection. If the husband will not allow his money to be used for the Lord's work, the wife must con form to this. The Lord understands the situation. Many Christian wo men have given to God's work out of their grocery money. They have shopped as wisely as possible (which is necessary especially to day) and have been able to do as the widow of old who gave her mite. It is the attitude of heart which makes all the difference. The
Lord is not impoverished; He wants our total dedication first of all. The wife's whole desire should be to do the very best she can and not to provide any offense to her hus band to keep him from coming to Christ. Pray for him faithfully that he may recognize his responsibil ity and the wonderful privilege of returning to the Lord a portion of what God has entrusted to his hands. Q. Chico, Calif. "/ heard that the original calendar year consisted of 13 months of 28 days each, total ling 364 days. If this is true, would it not change some dates of proph ecy such as the forty-two months referred to in Revelation 13:5?" A. The Hebrew calendar was the 28-day month based on a lunar system. It was computed so that there was a leap-year month every Page 15
BIOLA STUDENT, DAVE PEDERSON, WORKED AT GREEN OAK RANCH BOY'S CAMP IN VISTA, CA. THIS SUMMER.
so many years rather than the extra day that we have. The point is that in Revelation 13:5 we have a clue to how the reckoning in Scripture was done. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and pow er was given unto him to continue forty and two months." On the basis of the 12-month year that comes to three and a half years. In Revelation 11:3 we also read, "My witnesses... shall prophesy a thou sand two hundred and threescore days." This is 1,260 days. (We find this, too, in Revelation 12:6). To get three and a half years out of 1,260 days is to realize that the year is predicated not on 365 or 364 days, but rather on 360 which is the biblical year of reckoning. Every calendar man has used varies to some degree or another; how ever, by using comparative biblical passages we can see the manner of determination. Q. Bakersfield, Calif. "Are the rock musicals 'Godspell' and 'Jesus Christ, Superstar' part of the apos tasy Jesus said would come in the latter days?" A. Having not personally seen these productions we may not be the most qualified to answer your ques tion. We do believe that the whole area of license, liberty and extrem ism does give us a graphic picture concerning the nearness of Christ's return. This is a very definite moral sign. II Timothy 3:1-5 gives us a listing of those attitudes and char acteristics which will prevail be fore our Lord returns in glory. We see all around us those who are seeking sinful, worldly pleasure completely apart from God. Re member, too, that those who pro- Page 17
bring about Israel's deliverance. Q. Eugene, Ore. "Will our souls go directly to heaven when we die? A friend has told me that according to II Corinthians 5:8 we are only spiritually alive, so therefore our souls will not go to heaven." A. First of all, to be "only spiritually alive" is to be more alive than we could ever be here in the body. There are those who believe man is made up of body and soul, while others hold to the view, to which we subscribe, that man is body, soul and spirit. The soul is the ani mal nature or the life of the body. The spirit however, is that which comes alive at the time of the new birth, when the individual receives Jesus Christ as personal Saviour by faith. It is that spirit, the new man, which is going to live throughout all eternity. The soul is simply that part of man which is common to all forms of animal life. This may be the reason why there is confu sion with what your friend has told you. You may be sure that when a believer dies, his body may go to the grave but his spirit goes imme diately to glory. The Bible teaches us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. At the time when we are raptured into the presence of our Saviour (I Thes- salonians 4:13-18), our bodies will be re-united with our spirits. These physical dwelling places will be glorified, like the wonderful resur rection body of the Saviour Himself. Q. Tacoma, Wash. "Does Hebrews 10:26-27 imply that a backslider has no forgiveness, either in this life or in the life to come?" A. We should be careful not to
duced these plays are simply doing it in commercial venture. Their motives have certainly not been avowed as to honoring and glori fying Jesus Christ. One of them presents Christ as a "bewildered" individual with Judas at times seem ing to be more of the "star." The Lord is certainly not presented as the sinless Saviour of mankind, the very Son of God. If these things are true then the word "blasphem ous" would characterize the effort, no matter the acclaim of the critics. Q. Tucson, Ariz. "Please explain Exodus 4:24-26, especially the phrase 'the Lord sought to kill him'." A. This incident concerns Moses after he fled Egypt upon murdering an Egyptian taskmaster. It occurred while he was in the wilderness fleeing for his life. Now the Lord calls him back to lead His people out of bondage. God tells Moses exactly what his message to Phar aoh should be. The chosen deliver er had overlooked the remarkable sign which God gave to Abraham and his descendants with a specific covenant. Apparently this had been a "bone of contention" between him and his wife, Zipporah (verse 25). God was saying, "If you are going to be My servant, to bring My son, Israel out of Egypt, you have to set your own household spiritually in order." What a les son this should be to us, too. Too many handle the things of God so lightly. Isaiah rightly declared, "Cleanse yourselves, ye that bear the vessels of the Lord." Moses needed to do what he knew was right in order that he might be the avenue through whom God would
will not disinherit us. With earthly families, although our children may be disobedient, needing chastise ment and correction, they are al ways our children. Nothing can change that. This is why Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." What ever our condition of the moment, it does not change our standing in our relationship to the Lord. We are still His children. If we sin, of course we should immediately con fess our sins knowing that Cod is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteous ness, restoring us to full fellowship with Him. We are saved because of who Christ is and because of our personal relationship to Him. Q. Modesto, Calif. "How can a soul burn forever without burning up?" A. Never forget that our view is always finite, while Cod's is infin ite. If the Lord can bring fire to a burning bush, without letting it be consumed, He can certainly take care of a soul, seeing that it is not consumed in the eternal fires of hell. To be "salted with fire" means to be preserved with fire rather than being consumed. We all know that fire produces the most intense and excruciating pain a human can experience. The hell fire spoken of is to a spiritual being what a phys ical fire is to a physical being. This is the condemnation of those un saved men and women who have rejected Christ as Saviour. God has ordained that it will be a condition in which the body will not be con sumed but will endure throughout all eternity. We may not like to think about this fact but it does not lessen the reality of it whatsoever. This should show to us the com plete horribleness of sin in God's Page 19
confuse "backslider" with "apos tate." The former, according to scriptural testimony, is one who at some time in his experience fully trusted in the. Saviour. Then, because of the temptations of this world or some other reason, he falls away and may even grow cold and indifferent to the truth. He is certainly not loyal to the Lord. Peter is a good example of a backslider. He was not an apostate because there had been that initial definite transaction of faith. Judas would be of a different category altogether. As an apostate all he ever had was an outward relation ship. As a matter of fact, Scripture never records that he ever called Christ "Lord." The passage in He brews does not concern itself with backsliding. It deals with the sub ject of apostasy. We know this from the fact that there was no personal commitment, no giving over of one-self to the Lord Jesus Christ. The believer does not sin without remorse. He receives the truth, not merely the knowledge of the truth. By also reading verses 28 and 29 we find that this man has trodden under foot the Son of Cod. No true believer would ever be guilty of this. Q. San Francisco, Calif. "Can we know for sure that once we are saved, Jesus will accept us into heaven, even if we have sin in our heart and have not asked for for giveness?" A. Keep in mind the important truth that when a person becomes a Christian he is a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). Once we are born again we can never be un born. We will never be "un adopted" from Cod's family. He
TALBOT STUDENT, DOUG HAAG, BEING INTERVIEWED FOR A NEWS RELEASE ON WORK OF GREEN OAK RANCH.
sight. Even our "little" sins are heinous. This is why the Lord did everything possible to redeem us from evil in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our redemption. Q. Walla Walla, Wash. "Is there any prophecy yet to be fulfilled be fore Christ could come? Has Mat thew 24:14 been fulfilled?" A. We firmly believe that there is no prophecy yet to be fulfilled be fore our Lord calls the Church to be with Himself at the Rapture (I Corinthians 15:50-58; I Thessa- lonians 4:13-18). This could hap pen at any time. All prophecy con cerning the end of the age, with violence, apostasy, and perilous times are now upon us. Matthew 24:14 indicates that the "gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." The question revolves around an interpretation of "the end." An understanding of dispen sations is helpful as we consider which age is spoken of here. The first two verses speak of the de struction of the temple. The end of the Jewish age came as an in terruption at Calvary. That refers to the latter part of Daniel's 70th week. The message of this Gospel will be that the King is coming. This must take place after the Rap ture and before our Lord sets up His millennial reign. Q. Whittier, Calif. "What should a Christian's point of view be toward capital punishment?" A. There is only one position on this subject which must coincide directly with the Bible. Under cer
tain conditions capital punishment must be enforced. In Genesis 9:6 we find a great pronouncement concerning man's relationship to his fellow man. It is the basic foun dation for all human government. In Romans 13:4 this same fact is presented from the New Testa ment point of view. We certainly believe that capital punishment is scriptural and God-ordained. The entire matter must be handled care fully, not as a means of vengeance or of getting even. It must be seen from the standpoint of meting out justice upon men who are offend ers. The penalty should always be commensurate with the crime. Q. Lapeer, Mich. "Does Satan know our thoughts?" A. We know that the arch enemy of our soul does exercise great power in many areas. He is not, however, like God who is omni present, omniscient and omnipo tent. The devil does not have any of these attributes. We know he has a great kingdom with follow ers, or demonic forces, who carry out his evil requests and com mands. This is why he may appear to have such characteristics (Mat thew 12:25). Satan was a created being (Ezekiel 28:11-15). Omni science, as an example, is a mark of Deity alone. This is why the Pharisees were so amazed at Jesus of Nazareth who could say in Mat thew 9:4 that He knew their hearts. You may be sure that the devil does not know our thoughts. He may seem to know them, but it is be cause we inadvertently let them out. Q. Henderson, Nev. "Are the books Page 21
logically desolute. Even today we find that every phase of Egypt's formerly productive society is at a standstill. Q. Yakima, Wash. "It seems to me that there is a contradiction be tween John 6:44 where it says, 'No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him,' and the passage in John 14:6 which simply says, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' How would you explain this?" A. You may feel the apparent problem is simply that in the first passage the Father draws the indi vidual while in the latter Jesus Christ is the One who is the instru ment. When you consider that Jesus Christ is God and a part of the Trinity, there is no contradiction. These verses present two sides of exactly the same truth. There may also be a seeming contradiction in the minds of men in trying to rec oncile the foreordination of God with the free-will He has given to each of us. Both these points of view are presented in Scripture, and both of them are equally true. When we get to glory we will un derstand the full significance of these magnificent truths. We preach "Whosoever will may come," yet it is Cod who brings to salvation those who should be saved. It is the individual's respon sibility as to whether he accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour. No man can go away saying that it is up to Cod. Each of us must decide for himself. Eternal punishment and separation from God is of course the result for those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ.
mentioned in Revelation 5:1, 13:8 and 20:15 all different books?" A. The volume mentioned in the last two references is the Book of Life which will be opened, not that Cod might see what has been writ ten there, but so that the individual sinner, standing before the great white throne judgment seat can see that his name has not been in scribed there. In Revelation 5:1 we find another book altogether. It has been suggested that this book contains the title deed to the earth. Keep in mind, Cod has not actually lost control of this world. What goes on now, under the direction of Satan, is by His permissive will. The time of the Gentiles will end according to the Lord's calendar. The book is also referred to in Rev elation 10:1-2 in giving us an ex cellent picture of Christ. Q. Jacksonville, Fla. "W ill you please explain Isaiah 19:15 which says, 'Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do'?" A. Read through the entire 19th chapter and you will find that Egypt would be heading for a decline. This may seem common place to us today because we tend to forget the tremendous power and prestige which they once enjoyed above all nations. Cod took Israel from the tremendous power of Egypt and built her up into the nation she is even today. Isaiah, under the in spiration of the Holy Spirit, saw that the land of the mighty Pharaohs would go into a period of obscur ity through decline and ruin. The nation that was called in Scripture "the garden of God" is today eco
THIS YEAR'S ALUMNI-SENIOR BANQUET WAS ATTENDED BY MORE THAN 400. Q. San Diego, Calif. "Where do the ancient cave men fit into the biblical concept of our being cre ated in the image of God, along with all races beginning in Adam and Eve?"
tence? Some say natural disasters, wars, and other things prevented it. But demographers have already taken such things into account. The evolutionary hypothesis complete ly falls apart. In Genesis 1:26, after the universe was formed, we read that God created man. (The actual details are given in chapter two.) Unfortunately, man fell away from the blessed estate God planned for Him. He had been the very crown of the Lord's marvelous creation. This shows man deteriorates and degenerates. Those who lived in caves back through the ages were descendants of Adam, just as we are. They certainly did not pre-date our first human parents. Many Bible scholars feel that it was around the time of the flood in Noah's day, or perhaps shortly thereafter, that men dwelt in caves. We do not know specifically, but can know more fully when we see our Sav iour face-to-face. Page 23
A. This question has many ramifica tions, however, we need to affirm at the outset that true scientific fact and the Bible are never at odds. We believe that God first created Adam and Eve, and that the entire human race came from them. There was no race, according to Scrip ture, before. There is no actual sci entific proof for millions of years in man's history. Remember, the Bible does not have to get news or facts from science. If man has been coming along in history as many million years as some would have us believe, why do we not have a tremendously larger amount of people on earth than are in exis
God Is Light. We Have an Advocate. 5 And athis is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that bGod is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 aIf we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we blie and cdo not practice the truth: 7 but if we awalk in the light as bHe Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and cthe blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 aIf we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving our selves, and the btruth is not in us. 9 aIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and bto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 aIf we say that we have not sinned, we bmake Him a liar, and cHis w’ord is not in us. C hapter 2 M y little children, I am writing bthese things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, cwe.have an ldAdvocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is 3the 'propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also bfor those of the whole world. 3 And abv this we know that we have come to bknow Him, if we ckeep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “al have come to bknow Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a cliar, and dthe truth is not in him; 5 but whoever akeeps His word, in him the Hove of God has truly been perfected. cBy this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he aabides in Him bought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 7 aBeloved, I am bnot writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you 'have had cfrom the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 8 'On the other hand, I am writing aa new command ment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because bthe darkness is passing away, and cthe true light is. already shining. 9 The one who says he is in the light and yet ahates his bbrother is in the darkness until now. 10 aThe one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who “hates his brother is in the darkness and bwalks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has cblinded his eves. 12 I am writing to vou. “little children, because bvour sins a
J ;John 1:19 nés L I“ ICor. 6:H: 2:11 b]ohn 4:20 eJohn
m. 6:16 7:14; Titus
*rov. 20:9; nés 3:2 *8:44 3V. 2S:13 7:14; Titus
>rov. 20:9; nés 3:2 iü 3:33
etos, one to help 3:7, IS; 4:4; ;Gal. 4:19 n. 8:34; 7:25; 9:24
tion m. 3:23; n4:14: John
3:24:4:13; h6; 4:7f. 5:3; John 12:17;
1 John 3:6; dl John 1:8 bl John 4:12 ;4:13; 5:2 John 13:15; aving f:l, 7, U; i 3:11, 23; John 2:24;
h. 5:8; om. 13:12
; 3:15; 4:20 4:20f.; Acts
3:15; 4:20 >hn 1:6 1.1:9
“Do Not Love the World.” The Promise: Eternal Life. 15 Do not love athe world, n any one loves the world, the lov 16 For all that is in the woi bthe lust of the eyes and cthe boa the Father, but is from the work 17 And athe world is passin the one who does the wall of Got 18 Children, ait is the last ho bantichrist is coming, ceven now from this we know that it is the l 19 “They went out from us, for if they had been of us, they ?. but they went out, bin order that all are not of us. 20 JBut you have an aanoinb 2cyou all know. 21 I have not written to you truth, but abecause you do know the truth. 22 Who is the liar but athe the 1Christ? This is bthe antichi Father and the Son. 23 aWhoever denies the Son one who confesses the Son has th 24 As for you, let that abide i the beginning. If what you heard you, you also bwill abide in the St 25 And athis is the promise wl the eternal life. 26 These things I have writt who are trying to “deceive you. 27 And as for you, the “anoin Him abides in you, and you have you; but as His angjnting btea| ctrue and is not a li™ Him. 28 And now, and just a Ittle childrl may hav lame 2at that aHe one also who practices righ C haptei S e e lahow great a love the Fathe we should be called bchildren of this reason the world does not k: bshould appear, v away from Him in 29 If vou knot!
By DR. LEHMAN STRAUSS
I JOHN While we do not find the name of John in the epistles which bear his name, there is little doubt but that the Holy Spirit used him as the human author. A note of internal evidence that John wrote this book is the fact that he refers to Christ as the "Word" or "logos" as it appears in the Greek. The same is found in his Gospel and also in Revelation. Another word com mon to this epistle, as well as to John's gospel record, is the word "Paraclete," which is translated "Comforter" (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7). This refers to the Holy Spir it. The same appears as "Advocate" in I John 2:1. The word was used only by John. It suggests One who undertakes our cause. He is a friend who stands by us when we are in need. No one can doubt that the author of this epistle had a very close and intimate fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (I John 1:1-3). When this epistle was written, John was probably the only surviv ing apostle. The years had certainly mellowed this disciple who at one time had leaned on Christ's bosom. As the human author, it was so like him to retire to the background. He was unwilling to speak of him self but always of the Master. He was truly a humble man of God whose soul had been enriched through fellowship with the Lord. The name "John" corresponds to the Old Testament "Jonah" which means "a dove." John was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman on the sea of Galilee. He was doubtless the younger brother of James and per haps was influenced for Christ through the faithful preaching of John the Baptist. He was a loyal witness to the Saviour's Deity. A man like Moses or John may
write five books in which one might find a certain unity and similarity. In each of the books there would also be a marked individuality. The Bible was written in books. God gave it to His human penman one book at a time. There is a pro nounced unity and similarity in the entire Bible. What other volume would commend itself for a book- by-book study, even as much as a word-by-word analysis. This is a general epistle which means that it was not written to any particular group or individual. It is sometimes known as a catholic letter, not re ferring to the church but to the fact that it is to be universally re ceived and applied by all who read it. Some Bible scholars refer to it as a circular letter which is designed to meet the needs of many differ ent congregations as well as indi vidual believers. The time of the writing of I John is about 90 A.D. It is one of the latest, if not the last, books given by the Holy Spirit for the instruc tion and edification of the family of God. It was written to show the divine pattern and program for the life of a Christian. The desire is that those who are already saved may become more fervent in their zeal for the Saviour (I John 5:13). The very first verse indicates the Apostle's first-hand knowledge of the Saviour. He refers to Him as "that which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon." The second statement is not re dundant but comes with greater emphasis. "At first," John tells us, "we saw Him casually. Then we gazed upon Him intently, drinking Him in." He goes further to de clare, "Our hands have handled Him." Thomas was the one who
had been given the opportunity to touch the resurrected Christ and to see the places of the nail and sword scars. John testifies that this Man was different from all others who ever lived. Never a person spoke like He did. He is truly the Word of life and the eternal revel ation from God. In verse two he goes even a step further in referring to Christ's man ifested life of whom they all bore witness. Notice that this passage is in parenthesis. For ease in reading, it may be better to go from verse one to verse three. This is not to minimize in any way the second's importance. The third verse really introduces the purpose for writing the epistle. It was offered to pre sent fellowship. That word "fellow ship" appears two times here and once each in verses six and seven. What tremendous communion is ours with Christ as our Saviour and Lord. Christ wants each of us to be in this fellowship. Perhaps some one is reading this who has never been born again. You are not in the true fellowship that provides contented joy now and the assur ance of eternal life in the hereafter. Never forget that real fellowship begins with a right relationship to Cod through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no doubt but that I John was written to those who have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ. This is obviously clear from certain terms which appear. As an example, there is the word "Fath er" (2:1). Not every person is a child of God (John 8:44). This is a personal family letter. The term "little children" denotes this valid fact. Throughout the epistle we find the word "born." This refers to the
new birth and is another way to express the relationship we have in God's perfect fellowship. "Father" means "the originator of a family." We possess the same nature and are motivated by the same spirit. The word "Father" ap pears no less than 13 times in the epistle. John's use of it refutes the false idea of the universal Father hood of God. It is true that all men are the offspring of God in a crea tive sense (Acts 17:24, 26, 28), but so are the birds, fish and animals in that they all have their origin in the Almighty. Jesus told the re ligious Pharisees of His day that the devil was their father, even though they still were God's off spring in creation. Here in I John we see the relationship which a believing sinner has with the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ. Persons to whom this epistle was written are called "little children." This term appears eight times. Now the term "little" does not signify immaturity but is really a way of expressing close endearment in this unique spiritual relationship. These are the ones who have been saved and are now God's children by virtue of a new birth from above. This event is brought about super- naturally through the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). John is presenting an appeal to the new man in Christ for the highest and the holiest that is in him. It gives us a realization of the new partnership we have with God and with one another. There is a very erroneous teach ing abroad today that says Chris tians do not need to confess their sins to God. They take I John 1:9 to suggest that we are forgiven when we believe and that the fin ished work of Christ takes care of Page 27Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52
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