Biola Broadcaster - 1973-10





P re sid e n t. . .

Managing E d ito r. . .




T h e C h ris tia n a n d T im e s o f G r e a t S t r e s s . R o b e r t V e rn o n


* P a n e l D is c u s s io n s

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C o n q u e r Y o u r C lic h e s . J a m e s W . R e a p s o m e

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* S t u d y in I J o h n





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L e h m a n S t ra u s s

* P h ilip p ia n s






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L lo y d T . A n d e r s o n

* Edited Biola Hour Radio messages

Cover: Pumpkin field in Southern California by Willis Campbell

Production: Janice Wilson Trudi Badger Photographers:

Kirk Potter Jim Wilson


Second Class postage paid in La Mirada, California. Printed in U.S.A. by Penn Litho­ graphies, Inc., Whittier, California. Address: Biola Broadcaster, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, California 90639.

Tours 74

TOUR 2 Europe and Bible Lands June 17-July 8 Dr. J. Richard Chase, Lecturer, and Dr. AI Sanders, Lecturer. COST: $1495 from New York to New York. $1649 from the West Coast. (Lowest available reduced group fares from West Coast.) TOUR 4 Orient July 20-August 10 Dr. Lloyd T. Anderson, Lecturer. COST: $1500 from the West Coast.

TOUR 1 Bible Lands April 25-May 11

Dr. Samuel H. Sutherland, Tour Lecturer, and Dr. Israel Carmona, Assistant for the Tour. TOUR: $1195 from New York to New York. $1349 from the West Coast. (Lowest available reduced group fares from West Coast.) TOUR 3 Bible Lands July 18-August 8 Dr. Richard McNeely, Lecturer and Dr. Curtis Mitchell, Lecturer. COST: $1395 from New York to New York. $1549 from the West Coast. (Lowest available reduced group fares from West Coast.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON TOURS CONTACT: Dr. Israel Carmona Tour Coordinator Biola College 13800 Biola Avenue La Mirada, California 90639



Robert Vernon is a Deputy Chief with the Los Angeles Police De­ partment and member of Biola's Board of Trustees. I believe we are in a day and age where law enforcement is con­ spicuously important. I am very proud to be in law enforcement as a minister of God. Encircling the badge I carry are

three papyra reeds bound togeth­ er. This was the symbol of law en­ forcement in ancient Egypt around 5000 B.C. It is an old profession, and today one of the most neces­ sary of all the professions. In II Timothy 3:1-17 the theme is illustrated with Paul's outline of the last days. But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

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AND TIMES GREAT STRESS A Study in II Timothy 3:1-17


For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arro­ gant, revilers, d isobed ien t to parents, ungrateful, unholy, un­ loving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, w ithout self-con tro l, brutal, haters of good, treacher­ ous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Cod. Today, I believe we are living in

these "last days" so graphically portrayed by the Apostle Paul in this text and in many other por­ tions of Scripture. Many will say, "Well, won't we always have individuals who are disobedient to parents, lovers of self, lovers of money, ungrateful, and all these things the Bible speaks of?" Yes, we will! But, I believe we are seeing these things in greater Page 5

II TIMOTHY magnitude today. This is not a community problem — it is a na­ tional problem. In fact, a world­ wide problem. When Jesus gave prophecy in Matthew 24 regarding the times just before His return, He said it would closely resemble a woman in travail, waiting for her child to be born. As pains increase in in­ tensity and frequency, you know a baby is getting close to being born. We have seen these same symp­ toms through the ages. Now, how­ ever, we are seeing them increase in frequency and intensity unlike any time in history. The decay of our society is all around us. We have literally a drug epidemic in the United States to­ day. John Ingersol recently pre­ sented figures to a conference of law enforcement officers wherein he pointed out in 1960, we knew of fifty-five thousand hard-core drug addicts in the United States. In 1970, the number rose to five-

hundred and sixty-thousand known hard narcotics addicts! These are only the ones we have recorded. In Los Angeles alone last year, thirty-three thousand arrests were made for drug violations. Indeed, a drug epidemic. Crime is definitely on the in­ crease. In one month last year, over three-thousand people in the city of Los Angeles were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Drugs, crime, and other urban problems are all on the rise with no answer, humanly speaking, on the horizon. In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, "Mental Depres­ sion Afflicts More in U.S.," it stated this deep problem of depression leads to complete immobilization and in many cases, suicide. Dr. Gerald Clearman, professor of Psy­ chology at Harvard University, es­ timates one out of eight Americans can expect to experience this prob-


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comes first, and the man of law­ lessness is revealed." Stand firm in what you learn from the Scripture. Secondly, know the Word of God. "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season." In light of this, be ready to minister the Word of God. In the fifth verse we are told to "do the work of an evangelist." Stand firm, be familiar with and use the Word, and do the work of an evangelist. You are not going to get a psychological dissertation on how to adapt to times of stress because I am not a psychologist. I am just a policeman. I cannot offer you police answers because that would only be treating the symptom. It must go deeper. In our quest of materialism we have become people who love things, trying to gather them up and thus find happiness. Recently I was required to read a book by John Gardner, a best seller entitled Self Renewal. In one

lem. If the "50's" were an age of anxiety, then the "70's" are the age of melancholy. Doctors are not able to fully comprehend the situ­ ation, but many will agree it saps the energy, paralyzes the will, and drives people to suicide. The Scripture tells us clearly "in the last days there will be times of great stress." I believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ to this earth. Why do we have these prob­ lems? What are the solutions? What should Christians be doing? The instruction, or at least part of it, is contained in our text: "You, however; continue in the things you have learned and become con­ vinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them." First, know Cod. Have a person­ al relationship with Christ. In a parallel passage in II Thessaloni- ans, the second chapter, it says: "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (this coming) will not come to pass unless the apostasy

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II TIMOTHY chapter he writes: "Despite almost universal belief to the contrary, gratification, ease comfort, and diversion, and a state of having achieved all one's goals, do not constitute happiness for man. It might be possible for an impover­ ished nation to harbor the delusion that happiness is simply comfort and pleasure and having enough of everything, but we have tried it and we know better. Comforts and pleasures of good living are not enough. If they were, the large number of Americans who have been able to indulge their whims on a scale unprecedented in his­ tory would be deliriously happy. They would be telling one anoth­ er of their unparalleled serenity and bliss, instead of trading tran­ quilizer prescriptions." Perceptive, would you not agree? This secular writer recognizes something that God's Word has to say: being a lover of money and things and self will lead to times of stress. We have over-empha­ sized the material world. We have become as the hedonist— lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. As a result, we are experiencing a problem with security. For some reason we have felt that if we could only get "things" around us we would then be secure and hap­ py. The Bible indicates otherwise, and most of us have found through hard knocks that the Bible is very accurate. Our society is suffering from lack of a clear concept of right and wrong. We are crippled with the disease of relativism. A bumper sticker I noticed recently had this message: "If it feels good — do it." It is a pathetic, criterion many

would have us believe is the best way to go today. Not too many years ago I inves­ tigated a case where a three year old boy had been stabbed with a butcher knife. The knife had gone right through his back and out his chest. It miraculously missed all the vital organs, and he lived. Three days later he was released from the hospital. As we investigated that case, we discovered a nine year old boy had committed the vicious crime. His reason? "It feels good to stick somebody with a knife!" Can you imagine where this phi­ losophy would lead if espoused on a nation-wide basis? I think we have created an age I refer to as "Spockism," where ev­ erything is okay. Express yourself in whatever way seems best to you. Our criminal justice statistics bear out the philosophy. In a recent re­ port released by the LAPD it was stated in 1971, only six percent of people convicted of felonies went to prison. Forty-four percent of those arrested for armed robbery were on probation or parole for armed robbery at the time they were arrested for their second, third, or fourth armed offense. If you took the time to analyze this report and digest it further, you would find it indicates we are plagued by a very small percentage of our populace in these areas of violent crime, but they are contin­ ually allowed to go back and do these crimes again and again, and again. It is interesting to look at what the Bible has to say about this in Ecclesiastes 8:11: "Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil."

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stomping two other boys almost to death. When we rounded them up and began questioning them as to why they did this, all of them came up with essentially the same answer: "Well, it was Friday night and there was nothing to do." People are depressed and bored. "Why am I here? Where am I go­ ing?" What are we to do? Again, we are told to stand firm on the strength that Cod can give. We are told to be familiar with Cod's Word —-ready to use it. Be an evange- ist, spread the Gospel. People are ready. They are wide open for God's message— through you!

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, tried to teach us some­ thing in this verse but we still have not learned its message. It still takes Los Angeles County an aver­ age of nine months to bring some­ one to justice for a felony. Not very quick is it? The Bible indicates the sentence must be executed speedily if it is to be effective. No wonder we have little effect in our criminal justice system. Many of our problems stem from people having no purpose in life, people not knowing why they are here or where they are going. I recall a group of boys literally

Los Angeles Police Chief Davis and Robert Vernon during ceremony to make Vernon a deputy chief for LAPD. Page 9

Q. Santa Cruz, Calif. "According to Romans 13:1-7 all rulers are or­ dained of God and are ministers for good. How can this concept be reconciled with those evil leaders in Communist countries? Should a Christian submit himself to such authority?" A. Those who report on conditions behind the Iron Curtain tell us that while atheism is almost a state re­ ligion, yet as far as civil authority is concerned the people generally are living law-abiding lives. Author­ ities have established certain prin­ ciples by which the government is maintained. This has nothing to do with the spiritual aspect. When it comes to this we always must obey God rather than man. Paul lived in the time of Nero and suffered ter­ rific persecution at the hands of

Rome. He and other Christians of that day were citizens of the state and had to give their allegiance to the nation's laws. So, as far as civ­ il regulations are concerned, we should submit ourselves to those who are in authority over us. Of course, history is replete with the accounts of Christian martyrs who suffered death rather than give in to the evils of their day. While rulers are ordained of God, even though they may not be saved in­ dividuals, yet they are still used, unknown to themselves, working out God's plan and program. Q. Fresno, Calif. "What does the Bible teach about the spiritual and physical death of Christ? How does this relate to salvation and what part does the blood of Christ play?"

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possible. He deserved no kind of death. He who knew no sin be­ came sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! Thank God for what Christ did on our behalf. Q. Spokane, Wash. "In II Corinthi­ ans 6:17 we read, 'Come out from among them, and be ye separate.' Does this mean to be separate from the systems of the world as well as the people of the world?" A. This is exactly what it means, yet not to the point of ineffective exclusivity. Separation in Scripture is twofold. We are to depart from whatever is contrary to the mind of God as well as being separated unto God Himself. The underlying principle is that in a moral universe it is impossible for God fully to bless and use His children when they are in a compromise or com­ plicity with evil. The reward of separation is the full manifestation of the divine fellowship with the Lord in unhindered communion, worship and fruitful service. As far as the wickedness of the world is concerned we are to be separate in desire, motive and act. Q. Portland, Ore. "/ know of a group of Christians who feel they are the only ones who worship in spirit and in truth based on John 4:23-24. Can you comment on this?" A. It would be best to read the passage, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true wor­ shipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father Page 11

A. Death is so significant a factor in the history of the human family that every type is defined in Scrip­ ture. There is physical death, spir­ itual death, and eternal death. The first is where a person's body is separated from his spirit. This is when he ceases to be alive on a human plane. Spiritual death re­ fers to an individual who has never by faith received Jesus Christ as Saviour. His spirit has never been made alive through being born again. Eternal death is the result of one who never makes this most important of life's decisions. He is separated forever from Cod in hell. A person can be physically alive and yet be spiritually dead. Again, one can be physically dead but spiritually alive. Spiritual death means to be alienated and abso­ lutely cut off from the life of Cod. Eternal death is also defined in the Bible as the second death (Revel­ ation 20:14). It is always eternal separation from God in hell. We know from the Word of Cod, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ died physically. He suffered spiritual death in that God turned away from Him while He was on the cross. Our finite minds can never be able to fully under­ stand this. He underwent spiritual death for each of us. Think of the excruciating agony for the Son to be separated from the Father. We know that "the wages of sin is death," but Christ bore that penalty for us. We all are sinners by nature as well as by practice. By Christ's shed blood we are saved. The Bible teaches us that "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11). It is His atoning blood by which we are cleansed from all sin. This made our wonderful redemption

This is why we have to take into consideration the life-style, cus­ toms and cultural bounds of that day. At that time it was looked up­ on as impropitious for a woman to have her head uncovered. To do otherwise would actually be down­ grading herself (vs. 5). We know that even today they shave wo­ men's heads in houses of correc­ tion as a means of punishment. To come into the assembly without proper head covering meant per­ sonal shame (vs. 6 ). Verse 10 gives us the reason, "For this cause ought the woman to have authority on her head because of the angels." These created beings show them­ selves subservient before God. Of course, our culture is entire­ ly different from what it used to be. Certain denominations and churches still have women wearing hats or head-coverings. Some god­ ly ladies may say, "I would like to wear a hat sometimes but I know I would 'stick out like a sore thumb.'" Our purpose should nev­ er be to draw attention to our­ selves. So, the practice has been almost entirely reverse from what it was. Furthermore, the guiding principle is seen in the words, "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God" (vs. 16). The whole point is that the matter is not worth breaking up a church or causing dissention. Wearing a hat, or not wearing a hat does not af­ fect our personal and eternal rela­ tionship to God. Q. Buena Park, Calif. "According to I Corinthians 16:2, can collec­ tions be taken on any day besides Sunday?"

seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." In the Old Testament times the Jews of the Southern Kingdom worshiped at Jerusalem. The Israelites, or those of the North­ ern Kingdom, worshiped on Mount Gerizim. They felt that those were the only two places where people could really meet with God. Our Lord emphasized the fact that true worshipers will be able to com­ mune with the Father wherever they may be, regardless of the cir­ cumstances. The first prerequisite is personal salvation. We can be thankful that the Lord is no respec­ ter of persons. This is the only lim­ itation which the Bible gives us. We can and should turn our hearts to the Lord at any time. The Holy Spirit who indwells us is really the One who guides our worship. True praying is God the Holy Spirit pray­ ing to God the Father in the name of God the Son. The believer's heart is the prayer room. No one ’ roup of people, other than those who have been born again, have a "corner" on worshipping God in spirit and in truth. Q. San Diego, Calif. "How do you interpret I Corinthians 11 where it speaks of a woman covering her head?" A. This particular passage has occa­ sioned many conflicts in churches and between individuals when it has been taken out of context. This epistle was written to a specific church which had specific prob­ lems and specific needs. It was, of course, written also to all believers at any place in the larger sense.

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A. The statement here about "the first day of the week" does not preclude presenting gifts any other time so desired. Keep in mind that some people may have to work on the Lord's Day. This is certainly not to be a legalistic matter what­ soever. It makes absolutely no dif­ ference when we bring our offer­ ings to the Lord. The important part is that we are sure to do it. Q. Tacoma, Wash. "In Acts 20:7 we read that the disciples came together on the first day of the week to break bread. Can we take communion on any other day of the week, or only on Sunday?" A. Just as offerings for the work of God can be given and taken at any time, so the Lord's Supper can be celebrated any day of the week. In the passage you mention it does tell us that the disciples gathered on the first day of the week to break bread. This would be the normal way, yet it does not exclude some other practice as desired. Some churches vary it for the convenience of their members to Wednesday evening occasionally. In some congregations, if individ­ uals are ill, the officers or deacons will go at a convenient time and share communion with them. Q. Norwalk, Calif. " I have recently heard that the ark was not large enough to hold two of every kind of animal. Is this true?" A. Keep in mind that the Bible speaks of species rather than va­ rieties. As an example, two dogs in the ark could have been the pro­

genitors of all the varieties of dogs which we have in the world today. Obviously, there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of animals, but not as many species as one might be inclined to think. As to the size of the ark we note from Genesis 6 that it was several stories high and probably about 450 feet long with a width of 75 feet. (No one knows for sure the actual measurement of a "cubit"; however, 18 inches is thought to be about average.) It can also be assumed that Noah's ark was prob­ ably flat on the bottom and square at both ends. Noah was not going anywhere but simply wanted a vessel which would have the great­ est carrying capacity. In any case you may be sure that there was plenty of room to carry all of the animals. God said that they went into the ark which is sufficient evi­ dence to assure us of His plan and purpose. Where is the ark today? There has been much speculation about where the ark is today. It is quite fascinating to conjecture about this possibility, but our faith does not rest upon the ability of the Lord to preserve an object over the cen­ turies, so much as it rests upon our ability to accept by faith what God's Word says. Q. Vancouver, B.C. " I am upset because our church no longer sup­ ports the Jewish work. Does the Bible not tell us, 'to the Jew first and then also to the Greek'?" A. We are totally committed, and have been since our founding, to the testimony of Jewish evangel- Page 13

ism (Romans 1:16). Keep in mind that the Gospel was provided to the Gentiles through the Jews. Our Lord Himself in the flesh was of Hebrew extraction. Our very Bible, with all of its promises and proph­ ecies, was given to the Jews first of all. It is our glorious privilege to give the Gospel back to the people who, as a nation, have been spir­ itually blinded. Q. Lapeer, Mich. “ Why did God establish the Levite marriage law , saying that if a man die childless, his wife was to marry her brother- in-law? Does this not violate the 'one flesh' principle?" A. Marrying anybody else after a spouse has died does not violate the 'one flesh' principle. This situ­ ation is as old as the human family. Genesis 4:25, "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Seth." That is an interesting word in Hebrew for it means "displacement" or "put­ ting one in the place of another." Before the resurrection of our Lord Jesus the whole picture of immor­ tality was not very clear. He be­ came the "first fruits." The ancients believed that the way to attain im­ mortality was to live on in their descendants. This is the way the name was perpetuated. The family naturally did not want to have the name blotted out. We find the same repeated in Deuteronomy 25:5. It was on the basis of this law that the wicked Sadducees tried to trap our Lord when they used such an illustration. This only revealed their ignorance of life af­ ter death. Page 15

Conquer \bur Cliches By JAMES W. REAPSOME Old-time printers who had to set type entirely by hand, one letter at a time, thought up a short cut: make up in advance a supply of frequently occurring phrases. On busy days or lazy days some print­ ers grossly overused those preset phrases. Result: their printed ma­ terial often did not communicate naturally. Some of today's Christians do the same. They use stock words and phrases to describe their spiritual

experiences. We call them clichés: the printer's stereotype plates, the Christian's prepackaged platitudes. Result: poor communication. Now everybody is prone to fall back on clichés—even the best of writers and speakers. But for the Christian the problem is not pri­ marily one of professional speech or literature, it is a problem of communicating with those who need the gospel he can share but who do not understand his lan-

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guage. This problem in turn relates to a larger problem: the Chris­ tian's isolation from those of his peers who could benefit so greatly from hearing and understanding what the Christian can share of Christ and the Word of Cod. Language of course is the key to reaching the non-Christian world. But what does the unthinking repe­ tition of certain spiritual phraseol­ ogy contribute to the outside world's impression of Christians? It says they are interested in keep­ ing their own little clubs alive by means of their own secret lan­ guage. If a Christian is going to branch out and expose himself to the world—to the uninitiated—and if he is to relate Jesus Christ to the needs all around him, he must be able to express profound spiritual truth in understandable words. Some Christians can communi­ cate perfectly well in conversation about sports, business and the weather, but it is a different matter when they switch to spiritual values and concerns. They feel handcuffed linguistically because all they can use are technical doctrinal words. These words do not appear techni­ cal to the Christian because he is used to them. But to most people who lack biblical orientation these words are incomprehensible. Another barrier to communicat­ ing truth about Christ is erected when Christians use mostly a King James Version type of English. Certain expressions (very precious ones to all who have discovered their meaning) tend to lose their impact by overuse, sometimes so much so that even the users of these expressions fail to under­ stand their meaning.

Add to this the fact that in the Christian's prayer life and his wor­ ship experiences he may fall into a pattern of rather specialized terminology. Some of the same clichés are heard often in the cor­ porate worship of the church. This compounds the Christian's prob­ lem of communicating to his non- churchy friends. General cultural changes also lead us to resort to clichés. Words themselves change in usage and meaning. No word stands still. Words are susceptible to deterior­ ation. For example, it used to be suf­ ficient to say that something was a fact. No longer. Now we find ourselves referring to true facts or really true facts. "What is a fact if it is not true?" I ask, but because of a good word's deterioration we now sometimes have to shore up the word with modifiers. People also change. The lan­ guage of the King James Bible was once the everyday language of the people. It no longer is. On top of that, the general public is woefully illiterate when it comes to Scrip­ ture. The Bible itself, in any lan­ guage, is not the cornerstone of household reading and conversa­ tion that it deserves to be. To illustrate the foregoing, let us be arbitrary and choose one good Bible word which in itself is full of rich meaning but which cannot de­ liver its meaning to everyone who needs its message unless you find the right other words to use with it. Take the word saved, which oc­ curs again and again in the Bible, not only in the King James Version but in scores of modern transla­ tions as well. Why has such a basic doctrinal Page 17

Gary Whisenand is a Christian Ed major at Talbot Seminary.

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word become a cliché? Because too many Christians use it too glib­ ly among too many people who do not know what it means. It has become sort of a code word among Christians when talking among themselves. In that one word Chris­ tians rightly see all of the complex concepts of salvation: man's sin, its penalty and the removal of that penalty by Christ's death and res­ urrection. If a non-Christian were a seri­ ous scholar of biblical literature, there is a chance he might know what the Christian means by the word saved. But that is an extreme­ ly remote possibility. Instead, for people today the word saved has more to do with putting their money in the bank than it does with becoming ready for heaven. This technical Bible word simply has no salvation point of reference to the non-Christian. Does this mean Christians should quit using the word? Of course not. But they must work harder to make themselves understood. When they use the word with someone who understands it incorrectly, they must explain it or employ it in a way which shows its real signifi­ cance. The Christian must be his own translator and interpreter when it comes to the man on the street. Better yet, Christians should practice putting Bible truth into their own normal, natural expres­ sions. This will require serious self- discipline. The doctrine of salvation by per­ sonal faith in Christ is just as true —and our presentation of it just as effective—even when we do not use the words we usually associate with our message. The Holy Spirit is Page 19

CUCHES not limited to effectuating witness couched in King James clichés. In fact, from the standpoint of com­ munication alone, it would be true to say that the Christian can make his witness more effective by avoiding the cliché trap. Getting over clichés means the Christian communicator must read, listen and think. His language will reflect what he reads and listens to. He must investigate writers and speakers who put eternal truth in timely English. When he himself is prepared to speak of personal spir­ itual issues, he must force himself —even struggle if necessary—de­ liberately to find words that deliver the right meaning to his hearer. By thought-discipline and word- discipline a Christian's language can become fresh and spontane­ ous. He may still like to read his King James Bible, but he will have consciously worked to span the 300-year linguistic gulf between the men who translated it and the men with whom he is trying to share Christ. One way to rid yourself of ad­ diction to Christian clichés is to mix at times with a variety of non- Christians. Constant conversation with "saints only" is bound to limit your expression of Christian truth. Or teach some preschool children what the basic Christian doctrines are. You will find you cannot fall back on technical jargon with them. The problem of clichés may be connected to one's own spiritual sterility. It is hard to speak in a fresh, contemporary way if you have not kept fresh in your own relationship with Christ. Fresh con­ versation, like fresh water, comes from a constant inflow. Christianity offers undeniably the

most relevant, practical message going. It offers a whole new life and an incomparable Lord — if Christians will work at their com­ munication of it and not be con­ tent to coast along with second­ hand experiences and stereotyped language. Want to conquer your cliché habits? For a starter, write out what the Lord has done for you and then go back over it, scratch out every cliché and replace each one with common ordinary words which tell what the clichés mean. It will not be easy. But this simple exercise will not only im­ prove your language, but give you a better understanding of what Je­ sus Christ has really done for you. And how you can give others that invaluable understanding. Reprint by permission: TODAY, Septem­ ber 10, 1972.

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God Is Light. We Have an Advocate. 5 And 3this is the message \ve have heard from Him and announce to you, that bGod is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. . . \ ■ / - 6 ill we say that,we have feUowshi'pAvith Him and yet walk in the darkness, we blie and cdo not practice the truth; 7 biit if we.awalk in the light as Hie 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.otir sins and bto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 aIf we sav that vve have not sinned, we bmake Him a liar, 3 nd cHis word 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.hav.e an ldAdvocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is athe propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also bfor those of the whole world. 3 And aby this we know that we have come to bknow Him, if we ckeep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “aI 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 Move 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 comiViandment 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 pates 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 Pates his brother is in the darkness and Kvalks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has Plinded his eyes. 12 I am writing to von. P ttle children, because bvour sins a

I ; John 1:19 ties 1:17 ! Cor. 6:14; 2:11 '-John 4:20 cjohn

m. 6:16 7:14; Titus

>roy. 20:9; nes 3:2 1 8:44 ov. 28:13 7:14; Titus

*rov. 20:9; nes 3:2 in 3:33

etos, one to help 3:7.18; 4:4; ; Gal. 4:19 n. 8:34: .7:23; 9:24 ■fieri m, 3:23; in4:14: John

3:24; 4:13; 3:6; 4:7f. 3:3; John t .12:17;

*1 John 3:6; <•1 John 1:8 t>l John 4:12 ; 4:13; 3:2 John 13:13; aving 1: ; *}:. 11723: John 2:24:

h. 5:8:^. " ,V pm, 15:1 2

; 3:1 5; 4:20 4:20f.: Acts

, 11; John

3:15; 4:20 >hn 1:6 t. 1:9.

“Do Not Love the World.” The Promise: Eternal Life. 15 Do not love athe world, n any one loves the world, the lovl 16 For all that is in the wor bthe lust of the eyes and cthe boa the Father, but is from the world 17 And athe world is passing the one who does the will of Goc 18 Children, ait is the last ho bantichrist is coming, ceven now from this we know that it is the l: 19 aThey went out from us, 1 for if they had been of us, they « but they went out, bin order tliat all are not of us. 20 JBut you have an “anointi 2cyou all know. 21 I have not written to you truth, but “because you do know the truth. 22 Who is the liar but athe the !Christ? This is bthe antichi Father and the Son. 23 “Whoever denies the Son one w’ho 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 an ctrue and is not a Him. 28 And now, bshould appear, v away from Him in 29 If you kno

•nting bte 1and just ; (ttle childrl may hav s' tame 2at that aHe

one also who practices righ


C haptei S e e lahow great a love the Fathq we should be called bchildren of this reason the world does not k

Page 23

I JOHN It is a comfort to read about the reason for John's penning his first epistle. He says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake" (I John 2:12). The term "little children" appears in this verse as well as in the 13th. It is a differ­ ent Greek word in each case. The first one denotes the whole family of God. It is divided into three stages, fathers, young men, and little children. The last means eith­ er those who are young in the faith in relation to time, or else who are victims of arrested development. They have been saved but have never grown spiritually. You know into which part of the heavenly family you fit. John wants us to know that ev­ ery believer is in actual possession of forgiveness. It is a present pos­ session and a tremendous spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). You are not a Christian at all unless your sins have been forgiv­ en. If you are in Christ, God's judg­ ment has already been passed upon your sin. The proclamation of the forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ is the good news of the Gospel. It is not enough that you only believe in the idea of the forgiveness of sins. This will not get you to heaven. You need ac­ tually to experience forgiveness. Forgiveness is a primary blessing, shining brightest among the stars of God's grace and mercy. Every other spiritual blessing is withheld until first of all the forgiveness of sins has been experienced. The perfect tense used in I John 2:12 speaks of a past completed action having present permanent results. Christ put away sin perma­ nently and perfectly so that all

who come unto God by Him are for all time forgiven. It is also a personal blessing. Everything the Father does for His Son's name's sake is stamped with the full approval of God's satisfac­ tion. Christ's is the only name the Father recognizes as the grounds for forgiveness. The sinner is nev­ er forgiven because God is big- hearted. Any presentation of divine forgiveness which represents God as directly exercising clemency to­ ward a sinner is a fatal detraction from the meaning of the cross of Christ. The forgiveness of God to­ ward sinners is a judicial pardon of a debtor in view of the fact that his debt has been fully paid by another, the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is precisely a personal matter for the one who is forgiven. John writes, "Your sins are forgiven you." Forgiveness is a priceless bless­ ing because it is precious. It could not be purchased by wealth, works, nor weeping. When a man has done all that he can do, he is still as far from forgiveness as the east is from the west. Salvation was purchased through Christ's blood (I Peter 1:18-19). Have you ever tried to measure the guilt of one single sin? Multiply the sins of one individual's lifetime by the total population of the human race, and you have such a number of sins, that you could not even calculate them. Thank God, Christ makes a clean sweep of sin. When He for­ gives, He forgives all of my sin for­ ever. This is why forgiveness is priceless and so precious (Psalm 85:2). Forgiveness is also a productive blessing. Forgiveness of sins is a perennial fountain of joy. When a

Page 24

man is fully forgiven by Cod, he is changed from hatred toward Cod to a position of love and trust. There can be no greater joy in this life than the assurance of the for­ giveness of sins. The joy which is produced as a result of forgive­ ness of sins remains in times of sickness, sorrow, pain and pover­ ty. Such peace is not even possible apart from the forgiveness of sins. While it is blessedly true that our relationship with God can nev­ er be broken in view of the once- for-all judicial forgiveness be­ stowed on us by God, we do know how our sins can hinder the mu­ tual delight in our fellowship. This wrong condition must be dealt with. The sins must be forgiven and dealt with. The sins must be forgiv­ en and cleansed (I John 1:9). First Cod forgives the confessed sin or sins, and then He restores His for­ given child to his former position of uprightness. There is no contra­ diction between I John 1:9 and I John 2:12. The latter deals with the initial act of judicial forgive­ ness which is necessary before the sinner can be justified and declared a child of God, while the former covers cleansing for later sin neces­ sary for maintaining harmony and happiness in communion. This is what sanctification is all about. The cleansing of regeneration is once for all while the cleansing of sanc­ tification is a repeated experience. God's faithfulness is essential to His being. Because of Christ's sac­ rifice, God's faithfulness is exer­ cised towards Christians when they confess their sins. God wants to restore us to the fellowship which was broken when we sinned. To confess means, lit­ erally, to say the same thing. We

can agree with God as to our sins. We are to see sin in the same light as God does. Lay the sin before God and confess it in all honesty. The moment I confess, God in His faithfulness does two things: He forgives and He cleanses. I do not need to ask for it; it is automatic. In this way I am restored to blessed fellowship. This is the perfect pat­ tern for life which He has estab­ lished for us. One of the primary reasons for the writing of the important epistle of I John was to protect God's chil­ dren from the evil influences of this world system (I John 2:26). How easy it is to be led astray wan­ dering from God's path. The refer­ ence here is to false teachers and those who would proclaim some­ thing other than verified scriptural truth. This danger is ever present. There are dangers besetting the Christian on every hand. None is more damaging than those which are presented to us in disguise. Subtle seduction caused the fall of our first parents as recorded in Genesis 3:1-2. This has always been the strategy of the devil. Christ warned His disciples that increased deception by false prophets would characterize the end of the age (Matthew 24:4-5). Paul sounded a similar warning (II Corinthians 11: 13-15). We need to be on the alert. Actually, the seducers are evil spirits. They are expert in the un­ holy alliance of leading men and women away from the truth of God. Through intellectual doubt they insinuate that God's reality is false. These impious imposters have a way of deceiving. It was in the 16th century that John Calvin wrote in his exposition of II Timothy 3:13, "They will succeed in injuring and Page 25

I JOHN corrupting others. One worthless person will always be more effec­ tual in destroying than ten faithful teachers in building, though they labor with all their might." They offer only a counterfeit gospel rath­ er than that which is the grace of God (Galatians 1:6-7). Such teach­ ers often appear as angels of light (II Corinthians 11:13). We know that we are in the fin­ al age of this present world (I John 2:18). What the duration of this period will be, no one knows for sure. The exact moment of the con­ summation is not revealed in the Bible. Of this much we can be sure: our age will terminate with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take the Church unto Himself (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). As we come closer to that time antichrists with their evil systems, will lead more people astray as they make light of the truth of God's Word. At the final climax of the age there will be the appearing of the antichrist. He is the one outstand­ ing evil person, called the son of perdition (II Thessalonians 2:3). The word antichrist means either against Christ or instead of Christ Both meanings can be combined. He will assume the guise of Christ and at the same time actually op­ pose Him. Presenting himself as being for the Saviour he actually is against Him (I John 2:19). (These are not backsliders because they never were really saved. They had a doctrinal departure from the truth. They had only given mere mental assent to it. There are many people like that today. Unfortun­ ately some who profess to be saved have rtever really been born again. They know it intellectually but not experientially.) The antichrist de­

nies that Christ is God. The antichrist, who will be the incarnation of Satan, personifies all that is false. Our Lord said to the Pharisees, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do (John 8:44). Satan is the one who habitually denies the essential deity and humanity of our Saviour. After the Rapture of the Church Satan exalts himself above Cod (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). The words "lie" and "liar" ap­ pear not less than eight times in I John. From the original Greek we get our English word "pseudo," meaning false. Thus, a falsehood is a lie. The ninth commandment for­ bids the children of Israel from bearing false witness (Exodus 20:16). Christians are forbidden to lie (Colossians 3:9). These are sol­ emn words taken from the Bible. They should challenge our lives to make certain they do not become a part of our lives. It necessarily follows that one who rejects the Son has likewise rejected the Fath­ er. All who become confederates of the lie that denies Jesus Christ's eternal oneness with the Father, fall under the same condemnation as the antichrists. To deny the Son is to cut off oneself from the Father; As God's children, we must not allow ourselves to become side­ tracked by false teachers. The epis­ tle of I John maintains this strong emphasis throughout. The Christian must always be on guard. Decep­ tion will characterize our age as well as its ultimate downfall. Some deceivers will present their heresy under the guise of the new ortho­ doxy. The first simple message, coming from our Lord during His three years of teaching here on earth, cannot be improved upon.

Page 26

church times aimed their attacks at Christianity. Discussions gener­ ally revolved around the person of Christ. Some contended that He was merely a man. There were still others who held that He was di­ vine and not man at all. They con­ sidered Him some sort of a phan­ tom or ghost. How glad we should be that the Holy Spirit caused this letter to be written. It sets forth some glorious eternal facts which every child of Cod can possess to give him the assurance of intuitive knowledge which confirms his faith in Jesus Christ and in the written Word. The word "know" in some form or other appears a total of 39 times in these five chapters. Such knowledge as found here does not puff up. It should lead us toward humility, holy awe and wonder. Saving faith in Jesus Christ vies the believer assurance which can never be destroyed. Seven times in chapter five we have the assuring words, "we know." Chris­ tianity is filled with certainties. Without faith in Christ we cannot possess life. Without knowing that we have that life, we certainly can never enjoy it and live it to the fullest. Saving faith is not barren or simply theoretical. It is the activ­ ity of faith which is the proof of life and available to every true child of God. How sad to see believers who do not have the assurance of their salvation. One reason may be be­ cause of ill health. Some people are weak in the faith because they are physically sick, perhaps because of a nervous disorder. Another cause is neglect and failure to maintain Bible reading and pray­ er. Fellowship with other Chris­ tians is very minimal. I John 5:13 Page 27

Any attempt to tamper with that which was received from Him at the beginning is a cunning duplic­ ity, a falsehood, a double dealing. Cod would tell us that in matters pertaining to divine revelation there is nothing new. Do not de­ part from the Bible, the Word of God. Beware of those who come with amazing new discoveries about God or Christ or the Bible. Cling tenaciously to the Holy Word of Cod. One of the blessed things about studying I John is that it gives the believer some positive assurance that he has been born again (5:13). A repeated word in this epistle is "know." About 70 A.D. a sect arose known as the Gnostics, which boasted a superior knowledge over the Christians. They gained many followers because of their persua­ sive speech. We even have mod­ ern-day Gnostics who claim to have the answer on most any sub­ ject. There are different aspects of knowledge which are divisible in­ to the mathematical, which speaks of quantity; the physical, which speaks of matter and its proper­ ties; the biological, which speaks of life; the anthropological, which speaks of man; and the theological which deals with God. In all of these branches or departments there is no man who knows every­ thing (I Corinthians 8:2). A theo­ retical knowledge must be distin­ guished from the true and practical knowledge. There is a danger of becoming puffed up, vain, and con­ ceited if we think more highly of ourselves than we should (I Corin­ thians 8:1). Too frequently we are more ignorant than we know or at least than we will admit. The Gnostic society of the early

I JOHN has been called, by some Bible teachers, the key text of the entire epistle. It is designed to enable us to determine our eternal destiny. No unsaved person can qualify in knowing something about life while he is spiritually dead. Who would expect a deaf man to pass judgment upon sound; or a blind man to pass judgment on color; or a dumb man to respond to a lecture on the fine art of public speaking? Christians are continuously in possession of the experiential knowledge that we have come to know the Lord if we obey His will (I John 2:3-5). Intellectual attain­ ment proves absolutely nothing. Mere lip service unsupported by this evidence makes one a liar (vs. 4). To know Christ is to love Him, and to love Him is to keep His commandments. Only as we keep the Word of God can we know genuinely and practically that we are in Him. Another test for salvation is love for the brethren (I John 3:14). This is a distinguishing mark of a gen­ uine conversion. Hatred is com­ mon to the unbeliever, love char­ acterizes the life of the child of Cod. It should be a surprising and shocking thing to see one Chris­ tian acting in an unbrotherly way toward another believer in Christ. The Spirit of .Christ is the spirit of love (Romans 5:5). If there is no fruit of love emanating from us towards others it is a clear mark that we have never received eter­ nal life. You can be sure that you are saved if you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and we can know that He dwells in us by the mutual wit­ ness of our human spirit with Him­

self (Romans 8:16; I John 3:24; 4:13). It is a fact that if the Holy Spirit does not indwell a man then he cannot be saved (Romans 8:9). Jesus promised that He would send the Spirit to abide in us (John 14:16). Paul emphasizes the fact of the Spirit's indwelling (I Corinthi­ ans 3:16; 6:19-20). There are many false spirits in the world today. Sometimes it is difficult to make a distinction. Satan is a clever coun­ terfeiter. He can certainly produce that which looks so much like the real thing, that people are easily deceived. There are different christs today. Make sure the Christ in whom you believe is the Christ of the Bible. You will know by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Too many people today do not have the assurance of salvation. Do not miss the point of this study. You can "know" beyond a shadow of a doubt. God wants us to have assurance from His Word that we are saved by His indwelling Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. This will result in the evi­ dence of a fruitful life for the Lord. We can be thankful that the Lord has provided warnings for us in the Bible. In his first epistle John sets forth some of them in a very prac­ tical manner. We should know that there are pitfalls which can beset the child of God. The word "world" appears not less than 23 times in this important book. There is a three-fold descrip­ tion of the world. The first is that of mankind (I John 2:2). Christ died for the sins of every human being. This is the world which God loves and for which Christ died (I John 4:14). This is not the physical universe but rather all individuals

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