Does the Bible Teach an Old Universe?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;” (Hebrews 1:10,11 KJV).

Many in the scientific community reject the Bible’s testimony… unless of course, if it seems to agree with their teaching. Today’s Scripture is a favorite amongst those who refuse the idea of a young earth and a young universe. Notice the Bible says that the heavens “shall wax old as doth a garment.” Alas, this wresting of the Scriptures is manifested when we understand the definition of “old.”

When the Bible uses the term “old” to describe the heavens, it does not necessarily equate to billions of years old. Do we always use “old” to describe something extremely ancient? Of course not. A centenarian is 100 years old—is this person “old” when compared to, say, a millennium?  Notice how the Bible said the heavens would “wax [grow] old as doth a garment.” Just how “old” can a garment be? Billions of years old? We use the term “old” to refer to items we have had but a few years (like worn-out clothes).

The Bible terms the Mosaic Covenant (Old Testament) “old” in Hebrews 8:13, yet the Mosaic Covenant is just 3,500 years old. Notice the Bible calls the Mosaic Law “old,” yet it is merely thousands of years old. Just as the Mosaic Law needs to pass away for those Jews of the book of Hebrews, so that the New Covenant can be established (Hebrews 8:8-13), this present heaven and earth need to pass away so a new heaven and a new earth can be brought in (Isaiah 66:23; Hebrews 1:12; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1,4).

We should view today’s Scripture in light of this: “old” in both Hebrews 1:11 and Hebrews 8:13 is not “ancient” but rather referring to their functionality or existence. Both need to pass away, just like the garments (clothes) of today’s Scripture are worn-out (“old”).

10,000 Words of Gibberish

Saturday, July 23, 2011

“I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:18,19 KJV).

Religion tells of being “filled with the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.” Tongue talking is certainly Biblical, for the Bible says that certain Christians had the spiritual gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10,28,30). But, is speaking in tongues something we Christians should practice today?

Today church members claim to speak in allegedly “angelic language,” some special prayer language that only God understands. Upon listening to these people “pray in the Spirit,” we conclude it is nothing intelligent: “Hastala shandala hobbla gobbla.” Others repeat, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” This behavior is related to the Oriental religions’ “breath prayers” and uttering the Roman Catholic repetitious rosary. Vain worthless religious nonsense!

Corinth was the most spiritually immature Christian assembly Paul knew. These believers loved feel-good worship services, emotional highs, and being the center of attention (1 Corinthians 14:4,5ff.). Sound familiar? That is much of “the Church” today! Corinth abused spiritual gifts, so Paul devoted three chapters (1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14) to address these problems. Chapter 14 deals entirely with tongue talking.

In today’s Scripture, and verses 2, 4, 13, 14, 19, and 27, Paul mentioned speaking in “unknown tongues.” That word “unknown”—absent from modern Bibles—indicates this was not God’s gift of tongues. This was some ecstatic, nonsensical utterance based on emotions: some believers in Corinth just loved to draw attention to themselves by abusing tongues (speaking in gibberish). God’s gift of tongues was always intelligent human languages, dialects (Acts 2:6-11).

Paul stated: “I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” Talking 10,000 words in gibberish will profit nothing! Speak with intelligence, not some “angelic tongue.”

By the way, the gift of tongues ceased when God’s Word was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

Must You Confess God Before Men?

Friday, July 22, 2011

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32,33 KJV).

Preachers use today’s Scripture to coerce people to “walk the aisle for Jesus.” Was Christ teaching that we must stand before a church congregation and “make a profession of faith?” No. These are Israel’s verses. They have nothing to do with us in this the Dispensation of Grace.

Read verses 17 and 18: “But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”

The little flock, the believing remnant of Israel, will experience great persecution during the seven-year Tribulation. They will have to “endure to the end to be saved” (verse 22; cf. Matthew 24:13). Why must they endure to the end?

During the Tribulation the antichrist will institute the mark “666” (Revelation 13:15-18). Believers will refuse to worship the antichrist’s image and take his mark, so they will be killed. God will damn to everlasting torments those who worship the beast and his image, and those who take his mark in their right hand or in their forehead (Revelation 14:11). At any time, these Jewish believers could believe the antichrist’s lies. They must “endure to the end [of the seven years] to be saved.”

The believing Jews in the Tribulation will have to publicly refuse to worship the antichrist, thereby confessing Christ before men. Those who accept the 666 mark will be damned because they denied Christ before men.

Paul tells us in the Body of Christ: “If we believe not, yet [Jesus Christ] abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Consequently, Matthew 10:32,33 cannot apply to us. We are encouraged to share our testimonies with the lost world, but Matthew 10:32,33 is Israel’s doctrine. Do not be a spiritual thief and take something that God never gave you.

Life is Unfair Indeed

Thursday, July 21, 2011

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18 KJV).

Life is unfair. The guilty are declared innocent, and the innocent are condemned. Productive citizens’ lives are cut short by tragedy, yet those living ill-repute lives survive to do great damage to society. The wicked prosper while the Christians are mistreated. Corrupt millionaires seem to triumph over the people who live average to borderline-poverty lives. God’s people suffer persecution from Satan’s evil world system.

Indeed, life is so unfair. What better way to demonstrate that than to quote today’s Scripture: “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust….” The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:3 and Hebrews 1:3 that Christ died for “our sins.” “For he [God the Father] made him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin;” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God the Father sent His perfect Son to Calvary’s cross to bear our shame, our sin, our punishment, and our debt.

Heaven’s best came to this nasty world to save us, earth’s worst. Jesus Christ always pleased His Father (Matthew 3:17). We never pleased God (Romans 8:8). Christ did not deserve to go to Calvary. He went there because we deserved to go there, and He took our place so we could be saved from sin’s penalty, the everlasting lake of fire.

Life is SO unfair. The beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ, who always pleased His Father, died for us rotten, disobedient, ungrateful, arrogant, foolish, stubborn, sinful, hell-bound men trapped inside of these earthly tabernacles.

  • The just Son of God died for us, the unjust sons of Adam.
  • The sinless Son of God died for us, the sinful sons of Adam.
  • The loving Son of God died for us, the unlovely sons of Adam.
  • The innocent Son of God died for us, the guilty sons of Adam.

Behold that cruel cross of Calvary and realize that life is unfair indeed.

Brethren, Press Toward the Mark!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14 KJV).

Soul salvation is instantaneous. The Christian life, however, is a process. We have to die daily to the old thinking patterns and the former lifestyle (Ephesians 4:20-24). Our minds have to be continually renewed and transformed by the washing of God’s Word (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 5:26).

Positionally, in Christ, we Christians are “sanctified” (set apart) (Acts 26:18). God wants to transform our conduct so that it reflects our sanctified position in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:1-7). This is spiritual maturity (“perfection”): “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12).

In today’s Scripture, Paul explains that he is “pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We Christians have a goal! Our goal is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:8-10). Furthermore, our goal is to understand why God saved us and get a firm grasp of what He will do with us in the ages to come in the heavenly places.

We all need spiritual growth, some more than others. Every Christian grows at a different rate. We all, however, should be focused on the same goal that Paul had: spiritual maturity. Our desire should be to have a greater understanding of who Jesus Christ is, what He did for us, and our role in God’s purpose and plan for the ages. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18).

Study God’s Word rightly divided, believe it, and you will be pressing toward the mark!

Little is Much

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and behold how the people cast money into the treasury: and much that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing” (Mark 12:41,42 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Jesus watched people throw money into the Temple treasury. A poor widow cast in two mites, a farthing—only 1/64th of a laborer’s daily wages! The Lord Jesus calls over His disciples and tells them (verses 43,44): “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

This poor widow had almost nothing, and yet she gave what little she did have. Today’s “make-a-quick-buck” religious systems demand you give large “tithes.” Give a generous donation for candle lighting and prayers. In special cases, some churches press their members to give away all their savings to the church!

In this the Dispensation of Grace, the Apostle Paul never sets a minimum (or maximum) for giving. Today, you cannot give “too much” or “too little.” Then how do you know what amount to give? We read in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” No matter how much you give, do it “cheerfully” (put your whole heart into it!).

God’s work needs to be accomplished through the ministry of the local church. It requires money. You need to consider playing a role in giving to your local grace church or ministry. Let God’s Word work in you and God’s Word working in you will cause you to give what He wants you to give. Never let someone tell you that you gave too much or too little.

If you cannot afford to give much just remember the poor widow: little is much!

The Holy Spirit: Person or Force?

Monday, July 18, 2011

“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? … Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3,4 KJV).

Is the Holy Spirit a Person of the Godhead? According to the cults, the Holy Ghost is simply God’s “active force,” not God. Today’s Scripture says that the Holy Ghost is God. Will you believe God? (Will you believe the Holy Ghost?) Or will you believe the worthless, foolish tradition of men?

Furthermore, according to the Bible, the Holy Spirit exhibits the characteristics of a Person, not an inanimate force:

  • The Holy Ghost speaks, shows, and guides us into all truth (John 16:13).
  • The Holy Ghost can be blasphemed/spoken against (Matthew 12:31,32; Mark 3:29-31; Luke 12:10).
  • The Holy Ghost can be grieved/saddened (Ephesians 4:30).
  • The Holy Ghost teaches with words (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13).
  • The Holy Ghost speaks (2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Kings 22:24; 2 Chronicles 18:23; Ezekiel 11:5; Matthew 10:20; Mark 13:11; Acts 1:16; Acts 8:29; Acts 10:19; Acts 28:25; Galatians 4:6; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:7; Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; Revelation 3:6,13,22; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 22:17).
  • The Holy Ghost reveals (Luke 2:26; Ephesians 3:5).
  • The Holy Ghost lives/dwells (John 14:17; Romans 8:9,11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14).
  • The Holy Ghost appoints (Acts 20:28).
  • The Holy Ghost invites or requests (Acts 11:12).
  • The Holy Ghost bears witness (John 15:26; Acts 5:32; Acts 20:23; Romans 8:16; Hebrews 10:15; 1 John 5:6-8).
  • The Holy Ghost makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26,27).
  • The Holy Ghost reasons/thinks (Acts 15:28).
  • The Holy Ghost has knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:10,11).
  • The Holy Ghost can be tested (Acts 5:9).
  • The Holy Ghost can be vexed/troubled (Isaiah 63:10).

The above verses are just a few examples of the Holy Ghost exhibiting the attributes of a Person. He is not simply “God’s active force,” as the cults suggest. The Holy Spirit is a living Person, one of the three Persons of the Godhead.