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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Last Week Of Our Lord's Life On Earth

We are furnished by Scripture with certain facts and fixed points which, taken together, enable us (1) to determine the events which filled up the days of "the last week" of our Lord's life on earth; (2) to fix the day of His crucifixion; and (3) to ascertain the duration of the time He remained in the tomb.

The difficulties connected with these three have arisen (1) from not having noted these fixed points; (2) from the fact of Gentiles' not having been conversant with the law concerning the three great feasts of the LORD; and (3) from not having reckoned the days as commencing (some six hours before our own) and running from sunset to sunset, instead of from midnight to midnight.

To remove these difficulties, we must note :--

  1. That the first day of each of the three feasts, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, was "a holy convocation", a "sabbath" on which no servile work was to be done.  See Lev. 23:7,24,35.  Cp. Ex. 12:16.

    "That Sabbath" and the "high day" of John 19:31, was the "holy convocation", the first day of the feast, which quite overshadowed the ordinary weekly sabbath.

    It was called by the Jews Yom tov (= Good day), and this is the greeting on that day throughout Jewry down to the present time.

    This great sabbath, having been mistaken from the earliest times for the weekly sabbath, has led to all the confusion.

  2. This has naturally caused the further difficulty as to the Lord's statement that "even as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights" (Matt. 12:40).  Now, while it is quite correct to speak according to Hebrew idiom of "three days" or "three years", while they are only parts of three days or three years, yet that idiom does not apply in a case like this, where "three nights" are mentioned in addition to "three days".  It will be noted that the Lord not only definitely states this, but repeats the full phraseology, so that we may not mistake it.

  3. We have therefore the following facts furnished for our sure guidance :

    1. The "high day" of John 19:31 was the first day of the feast.

    2. The "first day of the feast" was on the 15th day of Nisan.

    3. The 15th day of Nisan, commenced at sunset on what we should call the 14th.

    4. "Six days before the passover" (John 12:1) takes us back to the 9th day of Nisan.

    5. "After two days is the passover" (Matt. 26:2.  Mark 14:1) takes us to the 13th day of Nisan.

    6. "The first day of the week", the day of the resurrection (Matt. 28:1,&c.), was from our Saturday sunset to our Sunday sunset.  This fixes the days of the week, just as the above fix the days of the month , for:

    7. Reckoning back from this, "three days and three nights " (Matt. 12:40), we arrive at the day of the burial, which must have been before sunset, on the 14th of Nisan; i.e. before our Wednesday sunset.

    8. This makes the sixth day before the passover (the 9th day of  Nisan) to be our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset.

    Therefore Wednesday, Nisan 14th (commencing on the Tuesday at sunset), was "the preparation day", on which the crucifixion took place:  for all four Gospels definitely say that this was the day on which the Lord was buried (before our Wednesday sunset), "because it was the preparation [day]" the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, "for that sabbath day was a high day", and, therefore, not the ordinary seventh day, or weekly sabbath.  See John 19:31

  4. It follows, therefore, that the Lord being crucified on "the preparation day" could not have eaten of the Passover lamb, which was not slain until the evening of the 14th of Nisan (i.e. afternoon).  On that day the daily sacrifice was killed at the 6th hour (noon) and offered about the 7th hour (1 p.m.).  The killing of the Passover lambs began directly afterwards.  Thus it is clear, that if the killing of the Passover lambs did not commence until about four hours after our Lord had been hanging upon the Cross, and would not have been concluded at the ninth hour (3 p.m.) when "He gave up the ghost;" -- no " Passover lamb " could have been eaten at the "last supper" on the previous evening.

  5. With these facts before us, we are now in a position to fill in the several days of the Lord's last week with the events recorded in the Gospels.  By noting that the Lord returned to Bethany (or to the Mount of Olives) each night of that week, we are able to determine both the several days and the events that took place in them.

THE SIXTH DAY BEFORE THE PASSOVER

THE 9TH DAY OF NISAN

(Our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset)


MATTHEW. MARK. LUKE. JOHN.
The Lord approaches Jerusalem from Jericho
............. 19:1-10
He passes our Thursday night at the house of Zacchaeus

19:5
And delivers the Parable of the Pounds

19:11-27
He proceeds toward Jerusalem

19:28
He sends two disciples (apenanti) for an "ass" and a "colt" (two animals) 21:1-7


And makes His first entry from Bethphage (not Bethany) ( The Two Entries ) 21:8, 9


He is unexpected, and they ask "Who is this?" 21:10, 11


He cleanses the Temple 21:12-16


He returns to Bethany 21:17

12:1

 

THE FIFTH DAY BEFORE THE PASSOVER

THE 10TH DAY OF NISAN

(Our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.)

The Lord passes the Sabbath at Bethany; and after sunset (on our Saturday), the first of three suppers was made, probably at the house of Lazarus, in Bethany ( The Three Suppers ) ............. .............. ................. 12:2
At this supper the first of two anointings took place ( The Two Anointings )


12:3-11

 

THE FOURTH DAY BEFORE THE PASSOVER

THE 11TH DAY OF NISAN

(Our Saturday sunset to Sunday sunset), the Gentile "Palm Sunday".

The second, or triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  He sends two disciples (katenanti ) for a colt (one animal).   The Two Entries ............... 11:1-7 19:29-35 12:12-
The Lord starts from Bethany (not Bethphage) and is met by multitudes from Jerusalem (The Two Entries ).
1:8-10 19:36-40 12:12-19
He weeps over the city.

19:41-44
He enters the Temple, looks around.
11:11-

And Returns to Bethany.
11:11

 

THE THIRD DAY BEFORE THE PASSOVER

THE 12TH DAY OF NISAN

(Our Sunday sunset to Monday sunset).

In the morning (our Monday a.m.) the Lord returns to Jerusalem. 21:18 11:12

The Fig-tree cursed. 21:19-22 11:13, 14

The Temple.  Further cleansing.
11:15-17 19:45, 46
In the Temple.  Further teaching.  "Certain Greeks".

19:47- 12:20-50
Opposition of Rulers.
11:18 19:-47, 48
He goes out of the city (probably to Bethany; see Luke 21:37, 38, below).
11:19

 

THE SECOND DAY BEFORE THE PASSOVER

THE 13TH DAY OF NISAN

(Our Monday sunset to Tuesday sunset).

In the morning (our Tuesday a.m.) on the way to Jerusalem, the question of the disciples about the Fig Tree.
11:20-26
.............
In Jerusalem again; and in the Temple. 21:23-27 11:27-33 20:1-8
In Jerusalem teaching in Parables; and questions. 21:28-23:39 12:1-44 20:9-21:4
The first great prophecy, in the Temple ( Two Great Prophecies ).

21:5-36
(Parenthetical statement as to the Lord's custom during this week).

21:37, 38
The second great prophecy, on the Mount of Olives. 24:1-51 13:1-37

The second great prophecy, continued ( Two Great Prophecies ). 25:1-46


"After two days is the Passover". 26:1-5 14:1, 2

He returns to Bethany, and is present at the second supper in the house of Simon the leper.  The second  Anointing.  The Three Suppers and The Two Anointings . 26:6-13 14:3-9

 

THE DAY BEFORE THE PASSOVER -- THE 14TH DAY OF NISAN

"THE PREPARATION DAY" -- THE DAY OF THE CRUCIFIXION

(Our Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset).

The plot of Judas Iscariot to betray the Lord. 26:14-16 14:10, 11 22:1-6
The "preparation" for the last supper (*1). 26:17-19 14:12-16 22:7-13
"The even was come" (our Tuesday after sunset) when the plot for the betrayal was ripe for  execution. 26:20 14:17

The last supper, commencing with the washing of the feet.


13:1-20
The announcement of the betrayal, &c. 26:21-25 14:18-21
13:21-30
The supper eaten, the "New Covenant" made (Jer. 31:31).  The lamb abolished, bread and wine substituted. 26:26-29 14:22-25 22:14-23
The first prophecy of Peter's denials ( Denials Od Peter ).


13:31-38
The strife; who should be the greatest, &c.

22:24-30
The second prophecy of Peter's denials ( Denials Of Peter ).

22:31-34
The final appeal to His first commission (Luke 9:3).

22:35-38
The last discourse to the eleven, followed by His prayer.


14:1-17:26
They go to Gethsemane. 26:30-35 14:26-29 22:39 18:1
The third prophecy of Peter's denials ( Denials Of Peter ).
14:30, 31

The agony in the garden. 26:36-46 14:32-42 22:40-46
The apprehension of the Lord ( Lord's Last Day ). 26:47-56 14:43-50 22:47-54 18:2-11
The escape of Lazarus
14:51, 52

The trials: continued throughout our Tuesday night. 26:57-27:31 14:53-15:19 22:54-23:25 18:12-19:13
About the sixth hour (our Tuesday midnight) Pilate said "Behold your King".


19:14, 15
Led away to be crucified. 27:31-34 15:20-23 23:26-31 19:16, 17
And "led with Him" two "malefactors" (kakourgoi) ( Others Crucified ).

23:32, 33 19:18
Discussion with Pilate about the Inscriptions.


19:19-22
The dividing of the garments. 27:35-37 15:24 23:34 19:23, 24
"It was the third hour, and they crucified Him" (our 9 a.m. Wednesday).
15:25, 26

"Then were there two robbers" (lestai) crucified with Him" (Others Crucified ). 27:38 15:27, 28

The revilings of the rulers, both "robbers", and one "malefactor". 27:39-44 15:29-32 23:35-43
The Lord's mother and John.


19:25, 27
"The sixth hour" (our Wednesday noon) and the darkness ( Lord's Last Day ). 27:45-49 15:33 23:44, 45
"The ninth hour" (our Wednesday 3 p.m.) and the expiring cry ( Lord's Last Day ). 27:50 15:34-37 23:46 19:28-30
Subsequent events 27:51-56 15:38-41 23:47-49 19:31-37
Buried in haste before sunset (our Wednesday about 6 p.m.), before the "high day" (the first day of the  Feast began), our Wednesday sunset. 27:57-66 15:42-47 23:50-56 19:38-42

 

"THE FIRST DAY OF THE FEAST"

"THE HIGH DAY"  (Yom tov)  - THE 15TH DAY OF NISAN

(Our Wednesday sunset to Thursday sunset.)

 

THE FIRST NIGHT AND FIRST DAY IN THE TOMB.

THE SECOND DAY OF THE FEAST - THE 16TH DAY OF NISAN.

(Our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset.)

 

THE SECOND NIGHT AND SECOND DAY IN THE TOMB.

THE THIRD DAY OF THE FEAST - "THE (WEEKLY) SABBATH" - THE 17TH DAY OF NISAN

 

(Our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.)

 

THE THIRD NIGHT AND THIRD DAY IN THE TOMB.

"THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK" - THE 18TH DAY OF NISAN

 

(Our Saturday sunset :  "the third day" of Matt. 16:21, &c.; not the third day of the Feast.)

 

Thus the Resurrection of the Lord took place at our Saturday sunset or thereabouts on "the third day"; cp. "after three days" (Matt. 27:63.  Mark 8:31.). 28:1-10 16:1-18 24:1-49 20:1-23

 

[For the sequence of events connected with and following the Resurrection. ]

It will be seen from the above that we have neither power nor authority to alter or shift any day or date; or to change the order or position of any of the events recorded in the Holy Writ.

Each day is marked by a return to Bethany during the last week (up to the Preparation Day); and each day is filled with the recorded events.

It follows, therefore, that the Lord was crucified on our Wednesday; was buried on that day before sunset; and remained "three days and three nights" in the tomb, as foretold by Him in Matt. 12:40; rising from the dead on "the third day", "the first day of the week".

The fixed days and dates, at either end, hold the whole period as in a vice, and place the whole subject on a sure foundation.


(*1) The words in Mark 14:12 and Luke 22:7 refer to "the first day of unleavened bread", which was the 14th day of Nisan, and therefore "the preparation day".  That is why the Lord goes on to tell the two disciples to go and make preparation for the Passover .


THE TWO ENTRIES INTO JERUSALEM

Most "Harmonies" assume that because each Gospel records an entry of the Lord into Jerusalem the four accounts must be identical because they are similar; and therefore conclude that because they differ in certain particulars there are "discrepancies".

Whereas, if we treat them in their chronological sequences, and have regard to the antecedent and consequent circumstances, the supposed discrepancies will disappear, and the similar, but diverse, expressions will be seen to be necessary to the different events.

In this present case, one entry (Matt. 21:1-9) takes place before the other, which is recorded in Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:30-34, and John 12:12-15.

  1. In Matthew the Lord had actually arrived at Bethphage.  In Luke He "was come nigh" (engisen);  in Mark "they were approaching" (engizousin ).

  2. In Matthew the village lay just off the road (apenanti); in Luke and Mark it was below them, and opposite (katenanti).

  3. In the former, two animals were sent for and used; in the latter, only one.

  4. In the former, the prophecy of Zech. 9:9, which required the two animals is said to have been fulfilled; in the latter, the prophecy was not said to be fulfilled, and only so much of it is quoted (John 12:15) as agrees with it.

  5. The former seems to have been unexpected, for "all the city was moved, saying, 'Who is  this?'" (Matt. 21:10,11 ), while, if there was only one entry, the two accounts are inexplicable, seeing that the later and subsequent entry was prepared for :  much people in the city "heard that He was coming", and "went forth to meet Him" (John 12:12,13).

  6. The latter therefore, was the great formal entry of the Lord, called "the Triumphal Entry", which took place on what is called "Palm Sunday".

The significance of the two animals, and the one, seems to be this:--

The first had special reference to the whole work of His mission.  He came on the ass with its unbroken colt, the clothes being put some on one and some on the other, and the Lord sitting on "them" -- the clothes (not on both beasts).  He came to cleanse the Temple, and make His final presentation of the King and the Kingdom.

But when He came on the one -- an ass's colt -- it was in judgment , to pronounce the doom on the city; and on the nation.

When He appears again it will be to a nation which will then say (as the result of Zech. 12:10);  "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39).



THE TWO GREAT PROPHECIES
OF
"THE END OF THE AGE"
(Luke 21 and Matt. 24.  Mark 13.)

The great prophecy recorded in Luke 21 is different both in time, place and subject from that recorded in Matt 24 and Mark 13.

The one recorded in Luke was spoken "on one of those days, as He taught the people in the Temple" (Luke 20:1).  For one note of time is in 21:1, "and He looked up and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the Treasury."  So that He was still "in the Temple " when He uttered the prophecy recorded in Luke 21, for the whole conversation with the disciples follows without a break the Lord's commendation of the widow.

But with regard to the prophecy recorded in Matt 24, we distinctly read (v. 1) "and Jesus went out and departed from the Temple ... and as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately " (v. 30).  So in Mark 13:1, "He went out of the Temple ... and as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, over against the Temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately" (v. 3).

So that we have two great prophecies.  One (Luke) spoken in the Temple, the other (Matthew and Mark) spoken later upon the Mount of Olives.  As parts of the first are repeated on the second occasion, we will give the leading points of the three in parallel columns, so that the object of each, and the difference between them, may be clearly seen.

They both open with a summary of events which might have taken place in the lifetime and experience of those who heard the words :--

FROM THE CROSS ONWARDS.

LUKE 21:8-9. MATT. 24:4-6 MARK 13:5-7
"Take heed that ye be not deceived for may shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time  draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by (i.e. immediately, so R.V.)." "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of war see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." "Take heed lest any man deceive you.  For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of war, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet."

John refers to this first sign in his First Epistle (1 John 2:18 ); but had the nation repented at the proclamation by Peter in Acts 3:18-26 , by the Twelve in the Land, by "them that heard Him" ( Heb. 2:3 ), and by Paul in the Synagogues of the Dispersion, " all that the prophets had written" would have been fulfilled.

LUKE 21:10, 11. MATT. 24:7, 8. MARK 13:8
"Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom:  and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences, and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven." "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and  pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles:  these are the beginnings of sorrows."

Now, it will be observed in the Lord's discourse as recorded in Luke, that, instead of saying "these are the beginnings of sorrows", and going on with the account of them, He stops short; He goes back; He introduces a parenthesis detailing and describing events that would take place " BEFORE ALL THESE" beginnings of sorrows.  He describes in v. 12,

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.

12.  But before all these,

That is to say "BEFORE" the great tribulation, all that is recorded concerning Jerusalem in vv . 12-24 would take place.  These are the closing words :--

24. "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Now, in the discourse recorded in Matt. 24, instead of going back to speak of the condition of Jerusalem before and until the beginning of the great Tribulation; having said "All these are the beginning of sorrows", He goes on to describe the sorrows, or birth-pangs of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:9-28.  Mark 13:9-23), and He continues the prophecy concerning these sorrows up to the moment of His appearing in the clouds of heaven.

While, in the discourse recorded in Luke 21, having gone back, and described what should take place "before all these" beginnings of sorrows, the Lord does not speak further of the great Tribulation, but takes it up at the end, and, as in Matthew and Mark, speaks concerning

HIS COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN

(of course, in Luke the words are slightly different from those in Matthew and Mark) :--

LUKE 21:25-27. MATT. 24:29, 30 MARK 13:24-26.
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." "Immediately after the tribulation of those days (*1) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers  of the heavens shall be shaken:  and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the  clouds of heaven with power and  great glory." "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken, and then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."

The first prophecy, in the Temple (Luke 21), was uttered in answer to two questions :  (1) "When shall these things be? " and (2) "What sign shall there be when these things shall come to pass? "  The answer to (1) is given in vv. 8-24, and the answer to (2) in vv. 25-28.

The second prophecy, on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24 and Mark 13 ), was uttered in answer to three distinct questions :  (1) " When shall these things be?" (2) "What shall be the sign of Thy coming?" and (3) "And [what shall be the sign] of the end of the age?"  The answer to (1) was given in Matt. 24:4-14Mark 13:5-13.  The answer to (2) was given in Matt. 24:15-27Mark 13:14-23; and to (3) in Matt. 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27 (and in Luke 21:25-28).

And then both prophecies conclude with the Parable of the Fig tree , and the final solemn assurance :--

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall by no means pass, till all these things may be fulfilled" (*2)  (Matt. 24:34.  Mark 13:30.  Luke 21:32.)

This latter is the last of four equally impressive statements :  Matt. 10:23; 16:28; 23:39; 24:34.

Each of these consists of two clauses, the former of which contains the strongest negative that could possibly have been used; and should be rendered "by no means", or "in no wise", as it is often rendered elsewhere;  while in the latter clause the verb is in the subjunctive mood with or without the Greek Particle "en", which (though it cannot be represented in translation) makes the clause hypothetical and dependent on some condition expressed or implied.  This condition was, in each of these four passages, the repentance of the nation , in response to the appeal of "the other servants" of Matt. 22:4, as recorded in Acts 3:18-26 and elsewhere, culminating in Acts 28:17-29 .

The conclusion of both prophecies thus consists of an assured certainty , with a definite contingency, or uncertainty which was not fulfilled.

Had the nation repented, then Jesus Christ would have been " sent", and "the restoration of all things which God had spoken by all His holy prophets since the world began" would have taken place, in accordance with God's Divine assurance given by Peter in Acts 3:18-26 ; but the condition of national repentance (Lev. 26:40-42;  Hos. 14:1-4, &c.) was not fulfilled; hence that generation passed away; and both prophecies (with all the others) are now postponed.  The first sign of all did (and will again) take place - the rising of the "many Antichrists ", whereby John could say they knew that it was "the last hour" before "the end of that age" (1 John 2:18).



(*1) Leaving no space, therefore, for a millennium of peace between the great Tribulation and the appearance of the Lord in glory; proving that the second coming must be pre-millennial.

(*2)
In all three passages the verb is genetai = may arise, or may have come to pass: not pleroo = be entirely fulfilled or finished, as in Luke 21:24.  This was so in both cases.



THE THREE SUPPERS

That there were three suppers, and not only two, at the close of our Lord's ministry will be clear from a careful comparison of the three Scriptures.
  1. There was the supper recorded in John 12:1-9.  This was probably in the house of Lazarus (*1), and, being "six days before the Passover",  must have taken place on the Friday evening, on the Lord's return from His first entry into Jerusalem from Bethphage ).

    Having slept there on the Friday night and spent the last Sabbath in retirement there, this first supper was made after the Sabbath had ended at 6 p.m.  At this supper there was an anointing of the Lord by Mary ( The Two Anointings ).

  2. The second supper, recorded in Matt. 26:6-13, took place "two days before the Passover" at the house of Simon the leper, which was also in Bethany.  See Mark 14:1-9.  At this supper there was also an anointing by a woman unknown (The Two Anointings ).

  3. The supper recorded in John 13:1-20 is the same as that recorded in Matt. 26:20, Mark 14:17, and Luke 22:14.  It was "the last supper", "the hour was come", and when supper was begun, or going on (not "ended"), the Lord first washed the disciples' feet; and later, the events took place as recorded in all four Gospels.  John's Gospel adds some antecedents; but gives the same consequence.

    The rendering of genomenou in John 13:2, by "ended" instead of by "taking place", or "beginning", has been the cause of much confusion.



(*1) For all the family were present; and "Martha served" (cp. Luke 10:40-42).



THE TWO ANOINTINGS

There can be no doubt that, during the last week, the Lord was anointed on two separate occasions.
  1. The former is recorded in John 12:3-8, "six days before the Passover ", in the house of Lazarus,  at Bethany.  (see The Three Suppers ).
    The latter is recorded in Matt. 26:7-13, and Mark 14:3-9, "two days before the Passover", in the house of Simon the leper, also in Bethany.

    Thus the times and places distinct.

  2. In the former case it was " a pound of ointment" that was used (John 12:3).
    In the latter case it was an alabaster vessel (Matt. 26:7).

  3. In the former case it was "the feet" of the Lord that were anointed (John 21:3).
    In the latter case it was His "head" ( Matt. 26:7)

  4. In the former case the term used is "anointed " (John 12:3).
    In the latter case the term is "poured" ( Matt. 26:7.  Mark 14:3)
  5. In the former case it was Judas who asked the question why it was not sold, &c., as there was plenty of time to do so during the six days (John 12:4).
    In the latter it was the disciples who "had indignation " (Matt. 26:8) "among themselves" (Mark 14:4); and their words (not necessarily spoken aloud to all) seem to refer to what Judas had said before.

  6. In the former the Lord directs the ointment to be reserved for His burial; and not sold (John 12:4).
    In the latter He declared that  it had been kept for that purpose (Matt. 26:12.  Mark 14:8)

  7. In the former case the Lord said, "Let her alone, " in order that she may keep it (John 12:7).
    In the latter He declared that she had well used it (Matt. 26:10-13).
  8. In the former case the woman is named "Mary" ( John 21:3).
    In the latter case the woman is unnamed.

  9. Thus on each occasion both the antecedents and consequence are different.
    Instead of wondering that there should be two anointings the wonder should be that there were only two, seeing that examples are so easily followed.



"THIS IS MY BODY" (Matt. 26:26).

A figure of speech consists of a word of words used out of the ordinary sense, or order; just as we call a person dressed out of the ordinary manner or fashion a "figure":  both attract our attention; and, in the case of words, the one and only object is in order to call a reader's attention to what is thus emphasized.  For an example see Matt. 16:6; where, had the Lord said "the doctrine of the Pharisees is like leaven", that would have been the Fig. Simile .  Had He said "the doctrine of the Pharisees is leaven ", the Fig. in this case would have been Metaphor; by which, instead of saying one thing is like another, it is carried over (as the word Metaphor means), and states that the one thing is the other.  But in Matt. 16:6, the Lord used another Figure altogether, viz. Hypocatastasis (from hupo = under, kata = down, and stasis = a stationing), which means putting one of the two words (which are necessary in the case of Simile and Metaphor ) down underneath, i.e. out of sight, and thus implying it.  He said, "beware of the leaven", thus implying the word "doctrine ", which He really meant; and, by thus attracting the disciples' attention to His words, thereby emphasized them.

In these three Figures we have a Positive, Comparative, and Superlative emphasis.  The essence of Simile is resemblance; the essence of Metaphor is representation (as in the case of a portrait, which is representation of some person); the essence of Hypocatastasis is implication, where only one word is mentioned and another is implied.

Through non-acquaintance with Figures of Speech every Figure is to-day called a "Metaphor".  But this is not the case.  A Metaphor is a special Figure different and distinct from all others.

"This is My body" is the Figure Metaphor; and the Figure lies in the Verb "IS", which, as in this case always means "represents ", and must always be so expressed.  It can never mean " is changed into".  Hence in the Figure Metaphor, the Verb "represents" can always be substituted for "is".  For example:

"The field is (or represents) the world"  (Matt. 13:38).

"The good seed are (represent) the sons of the kingdom "  (Matt. 13:38).

"The reapers are (represent) angels"  (Matt. 13:39).

"The odors are (represent) the prayers of the saints "  (Rev. 5:8).

"The seven heads are (represent) seven mountains"  (Rev. 17:9).

"This cup is (represents) the new covenant"  (1Cor. 11:25).

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not (does it not represent) the blood of Christ?"  (1Cor. 10:16).

Furthermore, it is a fundamental law in Greek grammar, without exception, that the Article, Pronoun, and Adjective must agree in gender with the Noun to which they refer.  For example, in Matt.16:18 , the Pronoun "this" is Feminine, and thus agrees with petra, which is also Feminine, and not with petros (Peter) which is Masculine.

So here: the Pronoun "this" is Neuter, and cannot agree with artos ( = bread) because artos is Masculine .  It must refer to what is Neuter; and this could only be the whole act of breaking the bread, which would be Neuter also; or to klasma, the broken piece (which is also Neuter ).

In like manner, when He said (in v. 28) "this is my blood of the New Covenant"; "this", being Neuter, refers to poterion ( = cup) (*1) and not to oinos ( = wine), which is Masculine , and means :-- "This [cup] represents My blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many, for remission of sins".

For, what was the Lord doing?  He was making the New Covenant foretold in Jer. 31:31-34.  If it were not made then, it can never be made at all, for no more has He blood to shed (Luke 24:39 ).

Now, "blood" was shed, and sacrificially used, only in connection with two things, making of a covenant, and the making of atonement .  In the former, the victim which made or ratified the covenant was slain and the body divided in two, the parties to the covenant passing between .  As long as the victim (the covenant maker) was alive the covenant could have no force.

At the last supper this New Covenant was made; and Peter's proclamation in Acts 2:383:19-265:31;  and Paul's in 13:3817:3020:21 26:20; were based upon it.  Messiah had to be "cut off ", that the Scriptures might be fulfilled (Acts 3:18).  But that having been accomplished, and the sufferings having been endured, nothing stood in the way of the glory which should follow.  " Repent ye THEREFORE and turn [to the Lord] that your sins may be blotted out ", &c.  The New Covenant which had been made had provided for that, as the Lord had said in Matt. 26:28, "for the remission of sins ".

In that last supper the Lord was not instituting anything with a view to the Secret (the "Mystery" to be yet revealed in the Prison Epistles);  but was substituting bread and wine for the Paschal Lamb (the type being exhausted in the Antitype), because of the new meaning which the Passover should henceforth convey.  It was to be the Memorial Exodus, not of the Exodus from Egypt, but of the which the Lord afterward accomplished in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31), according to the New Covenant made by His death.


(*1) Poterion being put by Metonymy (of Adjunct), for the contents, for the "cup" itself could not be swallowed.


THE DENIALS OF PETER.

There are several facts that have to be noticed before we can arrive at a clear understanding of all the denials recorded by Peter by the four evangelists : -

  1. We have to note that the fact that Peter would deny His Lord was foretold in three distinct prophecies uttered on three separate occasions and differing both as to the occasion and as to particulars.

    1. The first was in the upper chamber , recorded in John 13:38.  It was absolute as to the fact, general as to the day , but particular as to the number of denials:  "a cock shall by no means crow [from this time forth] until thou hast denied Me thrice".

    2. The second was in the upper chamber , recorded by Luke 22:34.  It was after the "strife ", and immediately before leaving the room.  It was absolute as to the fact but particular as to the day and the number of denials:  "a cock shall not crow this day, before thou wilt thrice deny that thou knowest Me".

    3. The third was after the Lord had left the city and immediately before entering the garden of Gethsemane.  It is recorded in Mark 14:30, and was particular in every detail : "Verily I say unto thee that (hoti ) thou (added by all the texts) this day, in this night, before a cock crow twice, thrice thou wilt deny Me".

      This last prophecy furnishes the key to the whole problem.  For, note : -

      1. that a cock was to crow twice, and
      2. that Peter would deny thrice;

      i.e. before each of the two cockcrowings Peter would thrice deny His Lord.  This is confirmed by the repetition in the fulfillment (Mark 14:72).

      Thus, there would be six denials in all; three before each cockcrowing.

      Note that the word "cock" has no Article in any of the four records : in each case it is not "the", but " a cockcrowing".


  2. Consonant with these data, we have the remarkable fact that Matthew, Luke and John each record three denials, and one concluding cockcrowing.  Mark also records three denials, but mentions the two cockcrowings.

    Consequently, in the four Gospels there are no less than twelve denials mentioned.  And the questions are, which of these are duplicates, and which are the resulting six required by the Lord's third prophecy in Mark 14:30?


  3. If we note accurately the marks of time in each Gospel, the place and the persons addressing Peter, every condition required by each of the Greek words employed is fully and perfectly satisfied, without a shadow or suggestion of "discrepancy".

    1. The First Series of Three.

      1. The First Denial, John 18:17. Place:  the door (thura ) without.  Time:  entering.  The questioner : the porteress (Gr. thuroros).
      2. The Second Denial, Matt. 26:70 ( Mark 14:68).   Place:  the hall (aule). Time:  sitting.  Questioner : a certain maidLuke 22:56-58 combines the same place and time, with the same maid, and another (heteros, masc.).
      3. The Third Denial, Matt. 26:71. Place:  the gateway or porch ( pulon).  Time:  an interval of an hourJohn 18:25, 26 combines the same place and time, with another maid and bystanders , one of them being a relative of Malchus.

      A COCK CREW.
      (Mark 14: 68.  John 18:27)

    2. The Second Series of Three.

      1. The First Denial, Mark 14:63. Place:  "beneath in the hall".  Time:  shortly after.  Questioner :  the maid again.
      2. The Second Denial, Matt. 26:73 (Mark 14:70).  Place:  the gate (pulon). Time:  shortly after.  Questioners :  the bystanders.
      3. The Third Denial (Luke 22:59, 60).  Place:  the midst of the hall (aule; v. 55).  Time:  "an hour after" ( v. 59). Questioner : a certain one (masc.).

      A COCK CREW.
      (Matt. 26:74.  Mark 14:72.  Luke 22:61)

    3. We thus have a combined record in which there remains no difficulty, while each word retains its own true grammatical sense.


THE CROSS AND THE CRUCIFIXION.

In the Greek N.T. two words are used for "the cross", on which the Lord was put to death.
  1. The word stauros; which denotes and upright pale or stake, to which the criminals were nailed for execution.
  2. The word xulon, which generally denotes a piece of a dead log of wood or timber, for fuel or for any other purpose.  It is not like dendron , which is used of a living, or green tree, as in Matt. 21:8.  Rev. 7:1, 3; 8:7; 9:4, &c.

As this latter word xulon is used for the former stauros , it shows us that the meaning of each is exactly the same.

The verb stauros means to drive stakes (*1).

Our English word "cross" is the translation of the Latin crux; but the Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word "stick" means a "crutch".

Homer uses the word stauros of an ordinary pole or stake , or a single piece of timber (*2).  And this is the meaning and usage of the word throughout the Greek classics (*3).

It never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone.  Hence the use of the word xulon (No. 2, above) in connection with the manner of our Lord's death, and rendered "tree" in Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29Gal. 3:13.  1Pet. 2:24.

There is nothing in the Greek of the N.T. even to imply two pieces of timber.

 

The Catacombs in Rome bear the same testimony:  "Christ " is never represented there as "hanging on a cross", and the cross itself is only portrayed in a veiled and hesitating manner.  In the Egyptian churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life, borrowed by the Christians, and interpreted in the pagan manner.

In his Letters from Rome Dean Burgon says:  "I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries ".

In Mrs. Jameson's famous History of our Lord as Exemplified in Works of Art, she says (vol. ii. p. 315):  "It must be owned that ancient objects of art, as far as hitherto known, afford no corroboration of the use of the cross in the simple transverse form familiar to us, at any period preceding, or even closely succeeding, the time of Chrysostom "; and Chrysostom wrote half a century after Constantine!

"The Invention of the Cross" by Helena the mother of Constantine (in 326), though it means her finding of the cross, may or may not be true; but the "invention" of it in pre-Christian times, and the "invention" of its use in later times, are truths of which we need to be reminded in the present day.  The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle.


(*1) There are two compounds of it used:  sustauroo = to put any one thus to death with another (Matt. 27:44.  Mark 15:32.  John 19:32.  Rom. 6:6.  Gal. 2:20); and anastauroo = to raise up and fix upon the stake again (Heb. 6:6 ).  Another word used is equally significant: porspegnumi = to fix or fasten anything (Acts 2:23).

(*2) Iliad xxiv. 453.  Odyssey xiv. 11.

(*3) e.g. Thucydides iv. 90.  Xenophon, Anabasis v. 2. 21.



THE INSCRIPTIONS ON THE CROSS.

Each of the four Gospels gives a different wording of these inscriptions : -
  1. Matt. 27: 37 :  "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."
  2. Mark 15:26 :  "The King of the Jews"
  3. Luke 23:28 :  "This is the King of the Jews."
  4. John 19:19 :  "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

Here again the difficulty is created by assuming that these similar but differing records are identical , without noticing the exact words which are written.  It is universally assumed that there was only one , and then follow the efforts to explain the alleged "discrepancies" between the different versions of it.

If we note carefully what is actually said all will be clear.

  1. Mark 15:26 can be dismissed; for he does not say anything about a "title" (Gr. titlos, John 19:19) being put on the cross or anywhere else, which any one had seen.  It is a question of the Lord's "accusation" or "indictment", or the ground or cause of His condemnation as claiming to be "the King of the Jews".

  2. John 19:19 speaks of a "title" written by Pilate, before it left Pilate's presence ; for no one suggests that Pilate went to the scene of the execution and wrote anything there.

    In Pilate's writing the three languages were in this order :  (1) Hebrew (2) Greek and (3) Latin (cp. IV. below).  And it was read after the cross had been set up .

    This was one which gave rise to the argument between the Chief Priests and Pilate (John 19:21,22); and this argument took place before the parting of the garments (vv 23, 24).

  3. The inscription in Matt. 27:37 was the result of that discussion; for another "title" was brought and was "set up over his head", after they had "parted His garments" , and having sat down, they watched Him there ( vv. 35, 36).
    As there could hardly have been two titles at the same time, the former must have been then taken down and the other substituted.
    We are not told how long the argument lasted or when it ceased, or what was the final result of it.

  4. A further result is seen in Luke 23:38; for another was brought much later, close upon "the sixth hour" (v. 44), when the darkness fell.  It was written with the languages in a different order :  (1) Greek (2) Latin, and (3) Hebrew (v. 38). (But see the texts.)  It was put up "over Him" (Gr. ep' auto , v. 38), "after the revilings of the People" (cp. vv . 35-37, with v. 38); whereas Matthew's (No. III) was set up before the revilings (cp. Matt. 27:37 with v. 39).

    The result is that : -

    1. Mark's was only His indictment.
    2. John's was the first written by Pilate himself (or by his order), in (1) Hebrew, (2) Greek, and (3) Latin, and was put on the cross before it left Pilate's presence .
    3. Matthew's was the second , substituted for the first, in consequence of the arguments which took place, and was set up "over His head" after the garments had been divided, and before the revilings.
    4. Luke's was the third (and last), put up "over Him ", after the revilings (Luke 23:35), and was seen just before the darkness of the "sixth hour" (v. 41).  This was written in three languages, but in a different order :  (1) Greek, (2) Latin, and (3) Hebrew (v. 38).  Not in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin as in No. II in John 19:19.

    Thus, such differences as these are marks of Divine accuracy; and instead of being sources of difficulties, become, when rightly divided, the means of their removal.



THE  "OTHERS" CRUCIFIED WITH THE LORD
(Matt. 27:38 and Luke 23:32).

Mislead by tradition and the ignorance of Scripture on the part of medieval painters, it is the general belief that only two were crucified with the Lord.

But Scripture does not say so.  It states that there were two "thieves" (Gr. lestai = robbers, Matt. 27:38Mark 15:27); and that there were two "malefactors" (Gr. kakouryoi , Luke 23:32).

It is also recorded that both the robbers reviled Him ( Matt. 27:44.  Mark 15:32); while in Luke 23:39 only one of the malefactors "railed on Him", and "the other rebuked him" for so doing (v. 40).  If there were only two, this is a real discrepancy; and there is another, for the two malefactors were "led with Him to be put to death" (Luke 23:32), and when they were come to Calvary, "they " then and there "crucified Him and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left" ( v. 33).

But the other discrepancy is according to Matthew, that after the parting of the garments, and after "sitting down they watched Him there", that "THEN" were there two robbers crucified with Him, one on the right hand and the other on the left" (Matt. 27:38.  Mark 15:27).  The two malefactors had already been "led with Him" and were therefore crucified "with Him", and before the two robbers were brought.

The first two (malefactors) who were "led with Him" were placed one on either side.  When the other two (robbers) were brought, much later, they were also similarly placed; so that there were two (one of each) on either side, and the Lord in the midst.  The malefactors were therefore the nearer, and being on the inside they could speak to each other better, and the one with the Lord, as recorded (Luke 23:39-43 ).

John's record confirms this, for he speaks only of place, and not of time.  He speaks, generally of the fact:  "where they crucified Him, and with Him others, two on this side, and that side, and Jesus in the midst" (John 19:8).  In Rev. 22:2 we have the same expression in the Greek (enteuthen kai enteuthen ), which is accurately rendered "on either side".  So it should be rendered here:  " and with Him others, on either side".

But John further states (19:32,33) :  "then came the soldiers and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with Him.  But when they came (Gr. = having come) to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs."  Had there been only two (one on either side) the soldiers would not have come to the Lord, but would have passed Him, and then turned back again.  But they came to Him after they had broken the legs of the first two.

There are two words used of the "other" and "others" in John 19:32 and Luke 23:32.  In the former passage we read, "they brake the legs of the first and of the other."  Here the Greek is allos which is the other (the second) of the two when there are more (see Matt. 10:23;  25:16, 17, 20;  27:61;  28:1.  John 18:15, 16;  20:2, 4, 8. and Rev. 17:10).

In the latter passage (Luke 23:32) the word is heteros = different (See Ap. 124. 2) :  "and others also, two were being led with Him."  These were different (*1) from Him with Whom they were led, not different from one another; for they were "in the same condemnation", and "justly", while He had "done nothing amiss" (vv. 40, 41).

From this evidence, therefore, it is clear that there were four "others" crucified with the Lord; and thus, on the one hand, there are no "discrepancies", as alleged; while, on the other hand, every word and every expression, in the Greek, gets (and gives) its own exact value, and its full significance.



(*1) Cp. Matt. 6:21, 24;  8:21;  11:3.  Luke 5:7;  6:6;  7:41;  9:56;  14:31;  16:13, 18;  17:34, 35;  18:10;  28:40.



THE HOURS OF THE LORD'S LAST DAY.

The Diagram below shows the 24 hours of the "Preparation Day", i.e. the day before the Passover (John 19:14 , &c.).  The Four Gospels agree in stating that the Lord was laid in the Sepulcher on the Preparation Day , which was Nisan 14th, immediately before "the High Sabbath", Nisan 15th (Matt. 27:62.  Mark 15:42.  Luke 23:54.  John 19:31, 42).  Therefore He must have been crucified on Wednesday, 14th of Nisan.

lastday

As shown above, the 14th of Nisan, which was the "Preparation Day ", began at sunset on our Tuesday (Gentile reckoning).  "The sixth hour" of John 19:14 is the sixth hour of the night, and therefore corresponds to midnight, at which, according to Gentile reckoning, Wednesday began.

The Roman numerals on the dial plate show the 24 hours of the complete Gentile day.  And on either side of the dial are shown the Hebrew "hours" corresponding to the Gentile hours a.m. and p.m.

The twenty-four hours were divided into the twelve hours of the night (reckoned from sunset), and "twelve hours in the day" (reckoned from sunrise.  See John 11:9).  Hence "the sixth hour " of John 19:14 was our midnight; "the third hour" of Mark 15:25 was our 9 a.m.; "the sixth hour" of Matt. 27:45;  Mark 15:33;  Luke 23:44;  was our noon and the "ninth hour" of Matt. 27:45,46;  Mark 15:33.34;  Luke 23:44 ; was our 3 p.m.

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Ephesians 4:1
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
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Good Newsflash

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

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. What does the Bible say about birth control?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acts 13:24.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27. What is a mortal sin?

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

28. Should a Christian go to war?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

32. Can a Christian become wealthy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

42. Who should keep the Passover?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

54. Is glory a place?

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

55. What is dispensational truth?

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

56. What is meant by falling from grace?

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

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

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

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

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

59. Can Gentiles partake of the New Covenant?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

64. Must the Roman empire be revived?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

70. Was Christ a soul after the resurrection?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

88. Do you believe that there are 2 bodies?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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